Trips to the ER can cost you time off work, and also personal pain. What if you could minimize ER visits and significantly reduce your chances of anxiety, depression, and even dementia.
Surfacing studies make the case that, for people with severe hearing loss, using their hearing aid could be the difference between staying involved and healthy and winding up spending many nights in the emergency room.
Participants between the ages of 65 and 85 participated in a University of Michigan study. Serious hearing loss was a widespread problem between them. But only 45% of the participants used their hearing aids on a regular basis.
Other researchers have also found that hearing aids were worn regularly by only 30% of people who had them.
12 fewer, of the 585 people who did use their hearing aid, had ER visits or unplanned hospitalizations.
This might not seem like a very large 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 people who used their hearing aids. Their time at the ER was probably reduced because they were more likely to show up for their regular doctor’s appointments.
How Can Emergency Care Visits be Decreased by Using Hearing Aids?
The first one is obvious. You wouldn’t be as likely to need emergency care if you are keeping up on your health.
Also, people who use their hearing aids remain more socially involved. When a person is socially connected they are usually more committed to keeping keep their appointments and also have more help from family and friends getting to the doctor.
For those driving themselves, it means that they will be able to drive more safely with less stress about what they can’t hear.
In addition, a U.S. study found that people with hearing loss who don’t wear their hearing aid are twice as likely to be depressed. Depression can bring about a lack of self-care, which can lead to health issues.
Risks of falling and dementia are, as outlined by various studies, also reduced by wearing your hearing aids. As a person begins to lose their hearing, the associated part of the brain starts to decline from disuse. With time, this can spread through the brain. As this happens, people often experience dementia symptoms and the disorientation and lack of balance connected with falls.
Falls are one of the leading causes of death among those over 65, and the consequent hospitalizations last two times as long.
Hearing aids minimize visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
So Why is Wearing Hearing Aids Something That so Many Individuals Avoid?
It’s difficult to come up with a valid excuse.
Some people don’t wear them because they think that hearing aids make them look older than they are. 25% of individuals over 65 and 50% of people over 75 have hearing loss and yet this perception of looking old with hearing aids persists. Hearing impairment isn’t rare. It’s common. And thanks to the increase in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is on the rise among people in their twenties.
It’s ironic that when someone is constantly asking people what they said it actually makes them look older.
Price is often noted as a concern. However, financing is available for hearing aids and prices have come down in the last few years.
Finally, some don’t enjoy the hearing experience with their hearing aid. In this case, your hearing specialist can help you understand what settings work best in different situations. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound optimal on the first fitting and sometimes require a number of tries.
If something is preventing you from wearing your hearing aid, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist.