Hearing Aids Can Minimize the Danger of Falling

Senior woman fell down and is sitting on carpet and touching forehead with hand

Kids have a tendency to fall pretty much every day. Taking a spill on your bicycle? That’s normal. Getting tripped up when running across the yard. Also fairly typical. It isn’t really a worry because, well, kids are kind of limber. They rebound quite easily.

The same cannot be said as you age. Falling becomes much more of a worry as you age. To some extent, that’s because your bones generally break more easily (and heal slower). Older individuals might have a harder time standing back up after a fall, so they spend more time in pain on the floor. Because of this, falls are the number one injury-connected cause of death in individuals older than 65.

That’s why tools and devices that can decrease falls are always being sought after by healthcare professionals. New research appears to suggest that we might have discovered one such device: hearing aids.

Can falls be caused by hearing loss

If you want to fully grasp how hearing aids could possibly prevent a fall, you need to ask this related question: is it feasible that hearing loss can increase your risk of having a fall? It appears as if the answer may be, yes.

So you have to ask yourself, why would the danger of falling be increased by hearing loss?

That connection isn’t really that intuitive. After all, hearing loss doesn’t directly impact your ability to move or see. But this sort of direct impact on your mobility, and an elevated danger of falling, can be a result of some hearing loss symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:

  • Your situational awareness is impaired: When you have neglected hearing loss, you may not be as able to hear that approaching vehicle, or the barking dog next to you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. Your situational awareness could be significantly affected, in other words. Can you become clumsy in this way because of hearing loss? Well, kind of, loss of situational awareness can make everyday activities slightly more dangerous. And your chance of bumping into something and having a fall will be slightly higher.
  • High-pitched sounds get lost: When you go into a stadium, you know how even if your eyes are closed, you can tell you’re in a huge space? Or how you can instantly tell that you’re in a small space when you get into a vehicle. Your ears are actually using something like “echolocation” and high-frequency sound to help your spatial awareness. When you can no longer hear high-frequency sounds because of hearing loss, you can’t make those assessments quite as rapidly or intuitively. This can lead to disorientation and loss of situational awareness.
  • Exhaustion: Your brain is working overtime and you’re always straining when you have untreated hearing loss. This means your brain is worn out more often than not. A tired brain is less likely to detect that obstacle in your path, and, as a consequence, you may end up tripping and falling over something that an attentive brain would have noticed.
  • Loss of balance: How is your balance affected by hearing loss? Well, your inner ear is very significant to your total equilibrium. So when hearing loss affects your inner ear, you may find yourself a little more likely to get dizzy, experience vertigo, or have trouble maintaining your balance. As a result of this, you could fall down more frequently.
  • Depression: Social isolation and maybe even mental decline can be the result of untreated hearing loss. When you’re socially isolated, you might be more likely to stay at home, where tripping dangers are everywhere, and be less likely to have help nearby.

Part of the link between hearing loss and falling is also in your age. You’re more likely to develop progressing and irreversible hearing loss. That will raise the chance of falling. And when you’re older, falling can have much more severe consequences.

How can the danger of falling be decreased by using hearing aids?

It seems logical that hearing aids would be part of the remedy when hearing loss is the problem. And this is being confirmed by new research. Your risk of falling could be decreased by as much as 50% based on one study.

In the past, these numbers (and the link between hearing aids and staying upright) were a bit less clear. In part, that’s because not everybody wears their hearing aids all of the time. As a result, falls among “hearing aid users” were frequently inconclusive. This wasn’t because the hearing aids were malfunctioning, it was because individuals weren’t using them.

But this new study took a different (and maybe more accurate) strategy. Individuals who used their hearing aids now and again were segregated from individuals who wore them all of the time.

So why does wearing your hearing aids help you prevent falls? In general, they keep you more alert, more concentrated, and less fatigued. It also helps that you have increased situational awareness. Many hearing aids also come with a feature that can notify the authorities and family members in case of a fall. This can mean you get help quicker (this is essential for individuals 65 or older).

Consistently using your hearing aids is the key here.

Prevent falls with new hearing aids

You will be able to remain close to your family members if you wear hearing aids, not to mention catch up with friends.

They can also help prevent a fall!

If you want to know more about how hearing aids could help you, schedule an appointment with us right away.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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