The pandemic has caused you to spend more time at home than ever before, which means you likely are foregoing some of your daily habits, like putting on pants, taking a shower or wearing your hearing aids. However, audiologists advocate for wearing your hearing aids during all waking hours — pandemic or no pandemic.
Why Is It Important to Wear Hearing Aids at Home?
It’s important to wear your hearing aids because untreated hearing loss subjects your brain to auditory deprivation. When you don’t hear sounds of certain frequencies (in most cases, high frequencies), your brain begins to adapt to the lack of input.
We can illustrate this point by talking about babies who can’t hear. “If hearing and speech and language are the parents’ goal, we need to get stimulation to the auditory nerve quickly because neural synapses are developing,” explains Catherine Palmer, president of the American Academy of Audiology and professor at the University of Pittsburgh. “This is an issue for adults as well. We don’t want the auditory system deprived of sound because over time that can change auditory processing abilities.”
In other words, you brain may forget how to hear certain sounds if it’s not being exposed to them.
You’ll Need to Readjust to Hearing Well Again
Think back to when you first got your hearing aids. Putting them on the first few times was probably overwhelming, right? It’s easy to become overstimulated when you’re hearing sounds you’re not used to hearing, and everything will probably at first seem much too loud and sharp.
When you’ve neglected your hearing aids, you’ll have to go through this adjustment process again when you do decide to wear them again, which usually takes two to three weeks.
Hearing Loss Increases Sense of Isolation
Social interactions are fewer and further between during these times, so you should make the most of the ones you have. When someone isn’t or hasn’t been wearing their hearing aids, they’ll often compensate for their trouble hearing by interrupting, monologuing, being reserved or talking at an inappropriate volume. This can make it harder to have meaningful and enjoyable conversations.
Make the most of your social interactions, even in unideal circumstances. Call Hampton Roads ENT today.