This last week I have seen many patients who simply are not putting their hearing instruments in every day. Please, please wear your hearing instruments every single day. There isn’t any rhyme or reason as to who is wearing them and who is not. Some are newer users, while some others have worn hearing instruments for years.
So, let’s break this down. Your brain needs auditory stimulation to stay healthy and vibrant. Not just once and a while, but everyday, all long long. If you have a hearing loss then this is accomplished by wearing your hearing instruments. You should strive for a minimum of 12 hours each day.
This lovely COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into many lives. With socialization pretty much out the window, many patients feel that it really isn’t necessary to put their hearing instruments in every day. One day, this virus will be put in check and life will return to normal. That probability is still several months in the future. In the meantime, you still have “sounds” to hear. If you have any degree of hearing loss then you do not hear any sounds at the intensity in which you should hear them. Yes, you may hear them, but you are not stimulating all the hearing nerves the way that they should be. The lackluster stimulation thus aids in the brain becoming dull and sluggish. Hearing loss left uncorrected aids in the brains gray matter to shrink.
Doesn’t sound pretty, does it? Many patients have told me they live by themselves so they don’t need to hear anything. Yes, yes you do. Most people watch TV or listen to music. So put them on for that. If you are going outside to walk, make sure you have them on for that, you might run into someone that you want to carry on a conversation with. Sitting on your porch enjoying the sound of nature work better with hearing instruments on. You will hear birds, traffic, maybe people speaking, depending upon where you live, you will hear sounds and your brain will appreciate them.
Do you know that if you go without wearing your hearing instruments just a couple of days then to your brain it is like starting over? The brain has to figure out all over what to do with all the sounds.
Just like when you got fit with your very first hearing instruments. Things may sound tinny. Your own voice might sound funny, the list goes on. Why put yourself through it?
If you haven’t been wearing them for quite a while then you could start out slow. Put them in when you watch TV. If you are married or living with your kids, they will appreciate it! Really, they will.
Whatever your game plan is, you must put your hearing instruments back in and wear them. Your brain depends on you. Everyone should have a hearing evaluation to access their hearing health. If you haven’t had one then give us a call. To Hear Better Is To Live Better!
Roseann B. Kiefer, B.A., BC-HIS, is owner of Lampe and Kiefer Hearing Aid Center, Sebring. This information is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure your condition. Always talk to your doctor before following any medical advice or starting a diet or exercise program.