When you’re a youngster, falling is just a part of life. Taking a tumble on your bicycle? Not unusual. Getting tripped up when running across the yard. Happens every day. It’s not really a concern because, well, kids are kind of limber. They bounce back pretty easily.
The same can’t be said as you get older. Falling becomes much more of a concern as you grow older. One reason for this is that bones are more brittle and heal slower when you’re older. Older people may have a harder time getting up after a tumble, so they spend more time in pain lying on the floor. As a result, falls are the number one injury-connected cause of death in individuals older than 65.
That’s why tools and devices that can reduce 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?
If you want to understand how hearing aids could possibly prevent a fall, you need to ask this related question: is it possible that hearing loss can raise your chance of having a fall? In some instances, it appears that the answer is a definite yes.
So you have to ask yourself, why would the risk of falling be increased by hearing loss?
There isn’t exactly an intuitive connection. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, impact your ability to move or see. But this sort of direct impact on your mobility, and an increased danger of falling, can be a consequence of some hearing loss symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:
- Loss of balance: How can hearing loss impact your balance? Well, your general balance depends heavily on your inner ear. So you may find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss affects the inner ear. Essentially, you have a tendency to fall more frequently.
- Exhaustion: Your brain is working overtime and you’re always straining when you have neglected hearing loss. Your brain will be constantly exhausted as a consequence. A weary brain is less likely to see that obstacle in your path, and, as a result, you may wind up tripping and falling over something that an attentive brain would have detected.
- Depression: Neglected hearing loss can cause social solitude and depression (and also an increased risk of dementia). You are likely to stay home a lot more when you’re socially isolated, and tripping hazards will be all around without anyone to help you.
- Your situational awareness is impaired: When you have neglected hearing loss, you might not be as able to hear that approaching vehicle, or the barking dog beside you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. Your situational awareness could be substantially impacted, in other words. Can you become clumsy like this as a result of hearing loss? Well, kind of, loss of situational awareness can make everyday tasks a little more dangerous. And your risk of bumping into something and falling will be a little higher.
- You’re unable to hear high-frequency sounds: When you go into a stadium, you know how even if your eyes are closed, you can detect that you’re in a large space? Or how you can instantly tell that you’re in a small space when you get into a vehicle. That’s because your ears are utilizing high-frequency sounds to help you “echolocate,” basically. You will lose the ability to rapidly make those judgment calls when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-pitched tones. This can bring about disorientation and loss of situational awareness.
Part of the link between falling and hearing loss is also in your age. As you age, you’re more likely to develop permanent and progressive hearing loss. At the same time, you’re more likely to take a tumble. And when you’re older, falling can have much more severe repercussions.
How can the danger of falling be decreased by wearing hearing aids?
It seems logical that hearing aids would be part of the remedy when hearing loss is the issue. And this is being validated by new research. Your danger of falling could be reduced by as much as 50% according to one study.
The relationship between staying on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this obvious. That’s partly because people often fail to wear their hearing aids. As a result, falls among “hearing aid users” were frequently inconclusive. This wasn’t because the hearing aids weren’t working, it was because people weren’t wearing them.
But this new research took a different (and maybe more accurate) approach. Individuals who used their hearing aids now and then were segregated from people who used them all of the time.
So how can you avoid falls by wearing hearing aids? Generally speaking, they keep you more alert, more concentrated, and less exhausted. The increased situational awareness also helped. Many hearing aids also include a feature that can alert 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 stay close to your family members if you use 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 find out more about how your quality of life can be enhanced.