Having to go to the ER can cost you time off work, not to mention personal pain. What if you could reduce your risk of accidents, falls, anxiety, depression, and even dementia while also eliminating trips to the ER.
Emerging studies make the case that, for individuals with serious hearing loss, wearing their hearing aid could be the difference between staying involved and healthy and winding up spending many evenings in the emergency room.
Participants between the ages of 65 and 85 participated in a University of Michigan study. Serious hearing loss was a common problem between them. But only 45% of the participants wore their hearing aids on a regular basis.
This is in agreement with similar studies which have revealed that only around 30% of individuals who have hearing aids actually wear them.
12 fewer, of the 585 people who did use their hearing aid, had Er visits or unplanned hospitalizations.
This may not seem like a very big number. But statistically, this is substantial.
And that’s not all. They also found that one day fewer, on average, was spent in the hospital for individuals who wore their hearing aids. Their time at the ER was probably decreased because they were more likely to keep their regular doctor’s appointments.
How Might Hearing Aids Decrease The Need For ER Visits?
First for the obvious one. You would be less likely to require emergency care if you were keeping up on your health.
Also, individuals who use their hearing aids remain more socially active. When a person is socially involved they are normally more motivated to keep their appointments and also have more help from friends and family getting to the doctor.
And driving is safer when you can hear, so you will have more confidence if you are bringing yourself to your appointment.
One study conducted in the U.S. revealed that depression is twice as likely in people who don’t use their hearing aid. Health concerns related to lack of self care is frequently an outcome of depression.
Thirdly, several studies have shown that using your hearing aid can decrease fall risk and cognitive decline. The region of the brain that’s used for hearing will start to decline from lack of use as hearing declines. With time, this can extend through the brain. As this happens, people commonly experience dementia symptoms and the disorientation and lack of balance associated with falls.
Long hospital stays frequently accompany falls and falling is a major cause of senior death.
Hearing aids decrease visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
So Why is Wearing Hearing Aids Something That so Many Individuals Avoid?
There’s really no good reason.
Some don’t wear them because they think that hearing aids make them appear older than they actually are. This notion remains despite the fact that around 25% of individuals over 65 have substantial hearing loss, and 50% of those 75 and above have it. Hearing impairment isn’t rare. It’s common. And thanks to the rise in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is increasing among people in their twenties.
Ironically, constantly asking people to repeat what they said often makes a person appear a lot older than they are.
Cost is frequently mentioned as a worry. However, financing is available for hearing aids and prices have come down in the past few years.
Finally, some don’t enjoy the hearing experience with their hearing aid. This can often be corrected by simply working with your hearing specialist to find out how to more effectively use your hearing aid in various settings. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound perfect on the first fitting and sometimes need a number of attempts.
Schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist so we can help you feel more comfortable wearing your hearing aids.