Hearing Aids Can Minimize the Danger of Falling

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

Kids tend to fall on a daily basis. Wiping out on your bike? Not unusual. Stumbling over your own feet while you’re running outside? Also pretty typical. Kids are pretty limber so, no big deal. They don’t usually stay down for very long.

The same can’t be said as you age. Falling becomes much more of a worry as you grow older. One reason for this is that bones are more brittle and heal slower when you’re older. Older people might have a more difficult time getting up after a tumble, so they spend more time in pain on the floor. Falling is the leading injury-associated cause of death as a result.

That’s why tools and devices that can reduce falls are always being sought out by healthcare professionals. Hearing aids might be just such a device according to research.

Can falls be caused by hearing loss

If you want to understand how hearing aids could possibly prevent a fall, you need to ask this related question: does hearing loss make you more likely to fall to begin with? In some situations, it seems that the answer is a strong affirmative.

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

There isn’t really an intuitive link. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, impact your ability to see or move. But this type of direct impact on your mobility, and an elevated danger of falling, can be a consequence of some hearing loss symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion: When you’re dealing with untreated hearing loss, your ears are always straining, and your brain is always working overtime. Your brain will be continuously tired as a result. An attentive brain will detect and avoid obstacles, which will reduce the likelihood of having a fall.
  • Loss of balance: How does hearing loss impact your balance? Well, your overall balance depends heavily on your inner ear. So when hearing loss affects your inner ear, you might find yourself a little more likely to grow dizzy, experience vertigo, or have difficulty keeping your balance. Because of this, you could fall down more often.
  • Depression: Neglected hearing loss can cause social solitude and depression (not to mention an increased danger 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.
  • Your situational awareness is impaired: You may not be capable of hearing the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps, the barking dog next door, or an oncoming vehicle when you have untreated hearing loss. In other words, your situational awareness might be significantly affected. Can hearing loss make you clumsy like this? Well, in a way yes, everyday activities can become more hazardous if your situational awareness is compromised. And that means you may be a little bit more likely to unintentionally bump into something, and take a tumble.
  • High-frequency sounds get lost: You know how when you go into a concert hall, you immediately detect that you’re in a huge venue, even if you close your eyes? Or when you get into a car and you immediately know you’re in close quarters? Your ears are actually using something similar to “echolocation” and high-frequency sound to assist your spatial awareness. When you can no longer hear high-frequency sounds due to hearing loss, you can’t make those judgments quite as quickly or intuitively. This can result in disorientation and loss of situational awareness.

Age is also a consideration when it comes to hearing loss-associated falls. You’re more likely to develop progressing and permanent 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 the risk of falling be reduced by using hearing aids?

If hearing loss is part of the problem, it makes sense that hearing aids would be part of the solution. And new research has borne that out. One recent study discovered that wearing hearing aids could cut your chance of a fall in half.

In the past, these figures (and the relationship between hearing aids and remaining upright) were a bit fuzzier. Partly, that’s because not everybody wears their hearing aids all of the time. So it was inconclusive how often hearing aid users were falling. This was because people weren’t using their hearing aids, not because their hearing aids were malfunctioning.

The approach of this research was conducted differently and perhaps more effectively. Those who used their hearing aids frequently were classified into a different group than those who wore them intermittently.

So how can you avoid falls by wearing hearing aids? They keep you less fatigued, more concentrated, and generally more alert. The added situational awareness also helped. In addition, many hearing aids come with safety features designed to activate in the case of a fall. This can mean you get help faster (this is critical for people older than 65).

Regularly using your hearing aids is the trick here.

Get your fall prevention devices today

You will be able to stay close to your family members 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, schedule an appointment with us right away.

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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