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Utah: 435-688-8991 Nevada: 702-896-0031

Don’t Let Your Brain Rust

Will your brain really rust if you don’t wear your hearing aids?  It may not rust, but it will get rusty.  When someone touches your hand – you feel it.  But you don’t’ feel with your fingers, you feel with your brain.  Simple stated your skin makes electricity, which is carried to your brain through nerves.  You ‘feel’ with your brain.  Your ears make electricity that is carried to your brain through your hearing nerves.  You hear with your brain, not your ears.  One way to keep your brain in shape is to exercise your ears everyday.

rusty-brain-01We have all experienced being in a car, or sitting somewhere, for an extended period of time.  When you are finally able to stand, the muscles in your body feel more rigid than normal and do not feel as flexible.  Imagine how these muscles would feel if they are unused for years at a time.  When legs are not used often, it is difficult to walk.  The same is true for your ears.

Hearing aid use is like exercise.  Consistently wearing hearing aids exercises and stimulates your brain, allows you to get comfortable with something in your ear canal, helps you discern all types of sound and creates opportunities for your brain to actively and properly interpret those sounds.  Some patients expect to understand speech at a high level despite not wearing their hearing aids regularly.   This is physiologically not possible.

So, aside from sleeping, and being in wet or dusty environments, hearing aids should be worn all day (average 8-15 hours daily), even when you’re alone.  The sounds you hear help to orient you to your surroundings.  It takes time for your brain to learn to recognize words through your hearing aids.  Learning to listen to amplified sounds and process them correctly again requires consistent exposure.

Exercising your ears will pay off!  You’ll keep your brain stimulated, be able to connect with friends and family, and simply find that you enjoy being tuned in again to the world around you.  You can do it.

– Dr. Richard Luekenga, Au.D.

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