Hearing Aids Can Decrease the Risk of Falling

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

Kids tend to fall on a daily basis. Taking a tumble on your bicycle? Not unusual. Stumbling over your own feet when you’re running outside? Also fairly normal. It isn’t really a worry because, well, kids are kind of limber. They rebound quite easily.

The same cannot be said as you get older. The older you get, the more worrisome a fall can become. One reason for this is that bones break easier and heal slower when you’re older. Older people tend to spend more time lying on the floor in pain because they have a harder time getting back up. As a result, falls are the number one injury-connected cause of death in people over 65.

It’s not surprising, then, that healthcare professionals are always on the lookout for tools and devices that can lessen falls. New research appears to indicate that we might have determined one such device: hearing aids.

Can falls be caused by hearing loss

In order to understand why hearing aids can help avert falls, it helps to ask a related question: does hearing loss make you more likely to fall in the first place? It looks as though the answer might be, yes.

So why does hearing loss increase the risk of a fall for people?

There’s not really an intuitive connection. After all, hearing loss doesn’t directly impact your ability to move or see. But it turns out there are certain symptoms of hearing loss that do have this type of direct impact on your ability to get around, and these symptoms can result in an increased danger of having a fall. Some of those symptoms include:

  • Depression: Untreated hearing loss can cause social solitude and depression (along with an increased risk of dementia). You are likely to be at home a lot more when you’re socially separated, and tripping dangers will be all around without anybody to help you.
  • Exhaustion: When you’re dealing with untreated hearing loss, your ears are continuously straining, and your brain is always working overtime. This means your brain is tired more frequently than not. An attentive brain will detect and avoid obstacles, which will lessen the likelihood of having a fall.
  • You have less situational awareness: When you have neglected hearing loss, you may not be as able to hear that oncoming vehicle, or the barking dog beside you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. In other words, your situational awareness might be significantly affected. Can loss of hearing make you clumsy in this way? Well, sort of, loss of situational awareness can make day-to-day tasks a bit more dangerous. And your risk of bumping into something and falling will be a little higher.
  • Loss of balance: How can hearing loss impact your balance? Well, your inner ear is extremely important to your overall equilibrium. So when hearing loss affects your inner ear, you might find yourself a bit more likely to get dizzy, experience vertigo, or have difficulty keeping your balance. In other words, you have a tendency to fall more frequently.
  • You’re unable to hear high-frequency sounds: When you go into a stadium, you know how even if you close your eyes, you can tell you’re in a huge space? Or when you jump into a car and you immediately know you’re in close quarters? That’s because your ears are using high-frequency sounds to help you “echolocate,” more or less. When you can no longer hear high-pitch sounds because of hearing loss, you can’t make those judgments quite as quickly or intuitively. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the outcome.

Age is also a factor when it comes to hearing loss-associated falls. As you age, you’re more likely to experience irreversible and progressive hearing loss. At the same time, you’re more likely to take a tumble. As a result, when you get older, falls are more likely to have serious consequences.

How can hearing aids help reduce falls?

It makes sense that hearing aids would be part of the solution when hearing loss is the issue. And this is being validated by new research. One recent study revealed that wearing hearing aids could cut your chance of a fall in half.

The connection between remaining on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this evident. That’s to some extent because individuals frequently fail to wear their hearing aids. So it was inconclusive how frequently hearing aid users were having a fall. This wasn’t because the hearing aids were malfunctioning, it was because individuals weren’t wearing them.

The method of this study was carried out differently and maybe more effectively. People who wore their hearing aids now and again were segregated from individuals who used them all of the time.

So how can you avoid falls by using hearing aids? They keep you less fatigued, more concentrated, and generally more alert. 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. This can mean you get help faster (this is crucial for people older than 65).

Consistently using your hearing aids is the key here.

Get your fall prevention devices today

You will be able to stay close to your loved ones if you wear hearing aids, not to mention catch up with friends.

They can also help you stay on your feet, literally!

If you want to know more about how hearing aids could help you, make an appointment with us today.

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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