When you’re a youngster, falling is simply a part of life. Taking a tumble on your bicycle? That’s typical. Tripping over your own feet while you’re running outside? Also rather typical. It isn’t really a concern because, well, kids are quite limber. They bounce back quite easily.
The same cannot be said as you get older. The older you get, the more worrisome a fall can be. In part, that’s because your bones tend to break more easily (and heal more slowly). Older individuals might have a more difficult time getting up after a fall, so they spend more time in pain lying on the floor. Falling is the leading injury-associated cause of death as a result.
That’s why tools and devices that can decrease falls are always being sought after by healthcare professionals. Hearing aids could be just such a device according to research.
Can hearing loss bring about falls?
In order to determine why hearing aids can help prevent falls, it helps to ask a relevant question: is it feasible that hearing loss can raise your chance of falling? In some instances, it seems that the answer is a definite yes.
So you have to ask yourself, why would the danger of falling be raised by hearing loss?
There isn’t exactly an intuitive connection. After all, hearing loss doesn’t directly influence your ability to move or see. But it turns out there are some symptoms of hearing loss that do have this type of direct effect on your ability to move around, and these symptoms can lead to a higher danger of having a fall. Some of those symptoms include:
- Depression: Social solitude and possibly even mental decline can be the outcome of neglected hearing loss. When you’re socially isolated, you might be more likely to spend time at home, where tripping hazards abound, and be less likely to have help nearby.
- You have less situational awareness: When you have untreated hearing loss, you might not be as able to hear that approaching vehicle, or the barking dog next to you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. In other words, your situational awareness may be substantially impacted. Can you become clumsy in this way due to hearing loss? Well, in a way yes, daily tasks can become more hazardous if your situational awareness is compromised. And your risk of bumping into something and falling will be a little higher.
- Exhaustion: Your brain is working overtime and you’re always straining when you have untreated hearing loss. Your brain will be constantly tired as a consequence. An alert brain will detect and avoid obstacles, which will lessen the chance of having a fall.
- Loss of balance: How can hearing loss impact your balance? Well, your inner ear is incredibly significant to your overall equilibrium. So you may find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss affects your inner ear. Because of this, you may fall down more often.
- You’re unable to hear high-frequency sounds: You know how when you go into an auditorium, you instantly know that you’re in a large venue, even if your eyes are closed? Or how you can immediately tell that you’re in a small space when you get into a car. That’s because your ears are utilizing high-pitched sounds to help you “echolocate,” more or less. When you can no longer hear high-pitch sounds due to hearing loss, you can’t make those assessments quite as quickly or intuitively. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the result.
Age is also a consideration with regard to hearing loss-related falls. You’re more likely to develop progressing and irreversible hearing loss. At the same time, you’re more likely to have a fall. And when you’re older, falling can have much more serious repercussions.
How can the danger of falling be reduced by wearing hearing aids?
It seems logical that hearing aids would be part of the remedy when hearing loss is the problem. And new research has confirmed that. One recent study discovered that using hearing aids could cut your chance of a fall in half.
The relationship between remaining on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this evident. That’s partly because individuals frequently fail to wear their hearing aids. As a result, falls among “hearing aid users” were often inconclusive. This was because people weren’t wearing their hearing aids, not because their hearing aids were broken.
The method of this study was conducted differently and perhaps more precisely. Individuals who wore their hearing aids now and then were separated from people who wore them all of the time.
So why does wearing your hearing aids help you avoid falls? In general, they keep you more alert, more focused, and less tired. It also helps that you have increased spatial awareness. Many hearing aids also include a feature that can notify the authorities and family members if a fall happens. Help will come quicker this way.
Regularly wearing 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!
Make an appointment with us today if you want to know more about how your quality of life can be improved.