Should You Wear Your Hearing Aids All the Time?

In the age of COVID-19, many of us are spending most of our days in our homes. This has many of our patients asking whether it’s really necessary to wear their hearing aids every day, since they aren’t really out socializing. The short answer? Yes. We review why below.

Left Untreated, Hearing Loss Causes Auditory Deprivation

Woman and audiologist having a conversation.

When you don’t hear sounds of certain frequencies due to hearing loss, your brain adapts. This means that you can forget how to hear certain sounds and certain words, a phenomenon known as

auditory deprivation.

Hearing aids help. According to a small study, wearing hearing aids “may reverse compensatory changes in cortical resource allocation.” In other words, negative changes in your brain may improve with consistent hearing aid use. Brain shrinkage may slow or stop, and your brain may begin to pick up on sound signals once more.

It Will Be Hard to Readjust to Hearing Again

Think back to when you first got your hearing aids. Everything probably sounded uncomfortably loud, and it was likely difficult for your brain to filter out unwanted background noise like the chirping of birds and the hum of the refrigerator. This is why your audiologist instructed you to wear your devices for just a couple of hours a day until you could tolerate the new sounds.

If you stop wearing your hearing aids, or even wear them less often, this can happen again, and it can happen more quickly than you think – within a matter of weeks. This is why it’s important to continue to wear your hearing aids daily, even if you don’t leave your house.

When You Shouldn’t Wear Your Hearing Aids

The rule of thumb is you should wear your device during all waking hours, except during activities where they can become damaged.

  • Don’t wear your hearing aids at night – they need time to dry out and/or recharge. Install emergency alerts made for people with hearing loss, like fire alarms with lights, for your safety.

Don’t wear your hearing aids at Shawnee North Aquatic Center or other swimming areas, as water can damage or destroy your devices.

  • Don’t wear your hearing aids while exercising if you sweat a lot or if your exercise exposes you and your devices to the elements.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Topeka ENT today.

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