Is It Okay to Ditch Hearing Aids?


Lipreading Mom has taken up a new hobby: sewing. It may be all the snow days lately have inspired this newfound passion for stitching pillows, aprons, and anything that a needle and thread can create. I’ve spent a lot of days at home, tending to these projects. Sewing is a calming hobby for me because I don’t have to worry about lipreading anyone or even wearing hearing aids.

So I decided to go hearing aid-free for a few days. Here is what happened.

I blamed lack of spare batteries.
When both hearing aids began to experience battery drain, I put off buying fresh batteries. The day both aids stopped working, I didn’t have a battery on me. I procrastinated going to the store because of all the sewing. There were so many stitching projects to complete. And I didn’t want to attempt reading the lips of a store casher I couldn’t hear.

My kids repeated themselves more.
Without hearing aids, I couldn’t make out their soft-spoken questions even with using my best lipreading skills. My daughter spent one day signing to me because I was likely to understand her hands better than her voice.

My husband repeated himself more.
Of course, he did have to compete with late-night sewing sessions when attempting to chat with me.

I spent more time by myself. With a needle.
That sounds bad, but I did. Isolating myself with sewing projects seemed easier than listening to my kids’ Mario games.

My hands began to hurt from that needle.
I did everything the old-fashioned way: by hand. No sewing machine for this Martha Stewart wannabe. I forgot to use thimbles on my fingers, and that sharp needle began to take skin with it.

My head hurt, too.
I like to hear my kids giggle over Mario games, and I like to have heart-to-heart chats with my husband. The more time I spent hearing aid-free, the less free I felt to engage with my family.

I just bought new hearing aid batteries. Tomorrow, I will wear my battery-operated ‘ears’ to church.

I’m taking a short break from that sewing needle.

Readers—Have you ever ditched your hearing aids? Why?


21 thoughts on “Is It Okay to Ditch Hearing Aids?

  1. I am around 70% deaf in both ears. If I wear my hearing aids for long periods my ears start to hurt sometimes and they get tired. My hubby is aware and very understanding of this. Plus I don’t mind being in my own world part of the time, it can be sanity. I don’t have to try so hard to understand, I can just be. For my amusement sometimes I’ll start conversations with him and when he starts talking I’ll say “What? my ears are out!” lol its a running joke between us. so sometimes I’ll have to tell him “talk in the ear!” and he’ll get real close to talk in my ear. My 12 year old son is very patient with and understanding with me. we have a lot of laughs. My husband is incredible in the 17 years we have been together only once did he get snappy with me when I was having a hard time understanding him, so I snapped at him hard, I was not happy. I mean many people don’t understand that it sucks as much for us to say what a million times a day as it is for them to keep repeating themselves. I look at my hearing loss as a gift now that I am 45 (I got my first pair of aids when I was 6). I was ashamed of it until my late 20’s when I realized it’s not my fault and to stop trying so hard to fit into everybody else’s world. now it’s our world and anyone who doesn’t try to accept and understand this about me, loses.

  2. YES, yes, and yes it is more than ok to ditch the hearing aids or Cochlear implants :). The silence we are able to enjoy is a gift from God. I take full advantage of that gift by allowing myself several CI breaks a day. I find the silence so peaceful and relaxing. When I return to the hearing world after my break I am rested and energized. I swear I even hear better.
    My family is awesome. They understand that I need to rest my ears. I’ve explained to them how my brain and ears almost hurt after working hard to hear all day. My 10 year old son is especially mindful. He always checks to see if my CI’s are on before he begins to speak. If he notices I am not wearing them. He smiles his cute little smile, points to his ears and says in a slow, perfectly enunciated manner “No ears. It’s ok. We can talk later.” If what he has to say cannot wait. He smiles that same cute smile as he hands me my implants. I love that kid! I am blessed.

    Progressive Hearing Loss over 20 years.
    Hearing Aides since age 23
    Bilateral CI recipient- first implant 5/12 second implant 2/13

  3. Certainly. I ditch it when I don’t really need it. Sometimes I tell people to wait while I put my hearing aid in. My hearing aid and my glasses compete for space on my ear and sometimes it is easier to just leave the HA off.

  4. I try to wear mine as often as possible around family…. after all they are the ones I love the most and I WANT to be able to hear them. Now, Saturday mornings when it’s just the newspaper, coffee and I, I go “aid free”.

  5. I too can say hearing with a CI is much easier than with a hearing aide. That’s why I got two. Enjoy your journey wherever it takes you.

  6. This is a great post! I just went and saw “Tribes” performed at the Steppenwolf Theatre last week and it ended up touching on some of these issues that you bring up as far as how difficult communication can be for people communicating with someone with a hearing loss as well as how hard it is for the hearing impaired person to hear sometimes. Thanks!

  7. Lisajoiner, I had thought of CI before, many, many years ago when it was still in the trial and error stages. but then I had my son and ever since hadn’t thought about it again until today. Ill have to check it out

  8. Yes, I’ve stepped away from hearing aids for a time.
    I wanted to give my ears time to dry out, both from moisture and from sound saturation.
    When I’m on line I don’t have a NEED for hearing unless I’m listening to a video or music, and I don’t always. I can go days without HA’s and not feel guilty.

  9. I won’t lie, I ditch the hearing aids after a long day. They have to be so loud for me to function and my children 4 and 2 (both hearing impaired with my progressive loss) so there is no way to win. Silence is sometimes a gift.

  10. Removing HAs after a long day, or due to illness, stress, or irritation is not “Ditching”. That’s excusable and congratulations on a great day!
    Ditching is investing in a pair and then tossing them in a drawer because you don’t like them and think you’re better off Deaf. It can take 30-90 days to adjust to a new set of HA. They are tools not cures. Instant gratification is not found here.
    I’ve never ditched my HAs. Communicating with those around me is too critical to chuck it all.

  11. I don’t wear my aid at home, cannot stand wearing it. I usually read my husband’s lips. I lost my hearing at 2 years old due to ear infection. I attended regular schools and it was difficult trying to read teacher’s lips even with a hearing aid. I’m 69 years old , don’t know sign language. my hearing is so bad now even with hearing aid, used to be able to distinguish sounds and words.

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