Why is it important for most hearing aid users to wear their hearing aids the whole time they are awake every day? When should hearing aids NOT be worn?
Hearing aids do their job by getting sound to the brain. The human brain prefers to receive input from the world in a consistent way. Even a few hours with reduced input can result in the start of remapping in the brain.
Sound weaves through many parts of the brain and supports many brain tasks. Before reaching what we think of as “hearing”, sound input affects our spatial awareness, memories, emotions, and movement control. Loss of even a slight amount of hearing can result in notable changes in the brain.
Did you know that untreated hearing loss in mid life is the largest modifiable factor contributing to the development of dementia? Said another way, One thing you can do to help keep your brain healthy is monitor and treat hearing loss early!
The best way to take care of your brain is consistent hearing aid use, when it is needed.
On the other hand – hearing aids should not be worn if you are going to be in an environment that is so loud that you ought to wear earplugs, or need to shout to be heard. Hearing aids do not function as hearing protection, although when set up properly they should not be adding any sound on top of sounds that are loud to start with.
Hearing aids should generally not be worn if you will be putting your head under water. They are designed for the drizzling rain, splashes, and sweat of everyday life, but are not intended to be submerged.
Our recommendations for consistent wear may not apply for individuals with certain neurological conditions, and our recommendations are structures quite differently for patients on Hospice or Palliative care.
When in doubt, talk to your audiologist about what makes the most sense for you!