Untreated hearing loss leads to increased visits to the emergency room.

Trips to the ER cause you to miss work, and also personal pain. What if you could minimize your risk of falls, accidents, depression, anxiety, and even dementia while also eliminating trips to the ER.

Emerging research makes the case that, for those with serious hearing loss, wearing their hearing aid could be the difference between staying connected and healthy and ending up spending many evenings in the emergency room.

The Research

This University of Michigan research gathered participants which ranged from 65-85. Severe hearing loss was a common problem between them. But only 45% of the participants used their hearing aids regularly.

This is on par with comparable studies which have found that only around 30% of people who have hearing aids actually use them.

Of the 585 individuals in the hearing aid group, 12 fewer people found themselves in the ER or non-elective hospital stay.

This might 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 used their hearing aids. They were more likely to keep regular appointments with their doctors, which most likely decreased their time in ER.

How Might Hearing Aids Reduce The Need For Emergency Care Visits?

The first one is obvious. If a person is staying on top of their health, they’re more likely to stay out of ER.

Other research has revealed that when people with hearing loss use their hearing aids, they stay more connected to friends, family, and the community. When a person is socially involved they are usually more committed to keeping keep their appointments and also have more support from family and friends getting to the doctor.

For those bringing themselves, it means that they can drive more safely with less stress about what they can’t hear.

Additionally, a U.S. study revealed that people with hearing loss who don’t wear their hearing aid are twice as likely to be depressed. Depression can lead to a lack of self-care, which can lead to health issues.

Thirdly, several studies have found that using your hearing aid can decrease fall risk and dementia. The region of the brain that’s used for hearing will start to decline from lack of use as hearing declines. Over time, this can extend through the brain. As this occurs, people often experience dementia symptoms and the disorientation and lack of balance connected with falls.

Falls are one of the major causes of death among people over 65, and the consequent hospital stays last twice as long.

Hearing aids decrease visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.

Why do so Many Individuals Neglect Wearing Hearing Aids?

It’s difficult to come up with a legitimate excuse.

Some people don’t wear them because they think that hearing aids make them look older than they are. This notion persists despite the fact that about 25% of people over 65 have significant hearing loss, and 50% of those 75 and older have it. Hearing loss is not uncommon. It’s common. And due to the increase in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is on the rise with people in their twenties.

Ironically, frequently asking people to repeat themselves often makes a person appear a lot older than they are.

Some people cite the price of hearing aids. However, financing is possible for hearing aids and prices have come down in the past few years.

Lastly, some don’t like the hearing experience with their hearing aid. This can normally be fixed by simply consulting your hearing specialist to find out how to more successfully use your hearing aid in different settings. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound optimal on the first fitting and sometimes need a few tries.

If something is stopping you from using your hearing aid, it’s time to make an appointment with your hearing specialist.

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