Kids tend to fall pretty much every day. Wiping out on your bike? Not unusual. Tripping over your own feet when you’re running outside? Happens every day. It isn’t really a worry because, well, kids are kind of limber. They don’t typically stay down for long.
The same can’t be said as you age. Falling becomes much more of a worry as you get older. One reason for this is that bones break easier and heal slower when you’re older. Older people tend to spend more time on the floor in pain because they have a harder time getting back up. Falling is the leading injury-related cause of death as a result.
That’s why tools and devices that can minimize falls are always being sought after by healthcare professionals. Hearing aids may be just such a device according to research.
Can falls be caused by hearing loss
If you want to fully grasp how hearing aids could possibly prevent a fall, you need to ask this related question: is it feasible that hearing loss can raise your chance of falling? In some cases, it appears that the answer is a definite yes.
So why does hearing loss increase the risk of a fall for people?
That link isn’t really that intuitive. 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 kind of direct impact on your ability to move around, and these symptoms can result in an increased risk of falling. Some of those symptoms include:
- Depression: Social isolation and possibly even mental decline can be the consequence of neglected hearing loss. When you’re socially isolated, you might be more likely to spend time at home, where tripping hazards are everywhere, and be less likely to have help close at hand.
- High-frequency sounds get lost: 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 get into a car and you immediately know you’re in a small space? That’s because your ears are using high-frequency sounds to help you “echolocate,” more or less. You will lose the ability to quickly make those judgment calls when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-frequency tones. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the consequences.
- You have less situational awareness: When you have untreated hearing loss, you might 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 substantially impacted. Can you become clumsy like this because of hearing loss? Well, kind of, loss of situational awareness can make day-to-day activities a bit more dangerous. And that means you could be slightly more likely to unintentionally stumble into something, and have a tumble.
- Exhaustion: When you’re dealing with neglected hearing loss, your ears are continuously straining, and your brain is often working extra hard. This means your brain is tired more frequently than not. An alert brain will detect and steer clear of obstacles, which will reduce the chance of having a fall.
- Loss of balance: How does hearing loss effect your balance? Well, your inner ear is very significant to your total equilibrium. So when hearing loss impacts your inner ear, you might find yourself a bit more likely to grow dizzy, experience vertigo, or have trouble maintaining your balance. As a result of this, you may fall down more often.
Age is also a factor with regard to hearing loss-associated falls. As you grow older, you’re more likely to experience permanent and advancing hearing loss. That will raise the chance of falling. Consequently, when you get older, falls are more likely to have serious repercussions.
How can the danger of falling be reduced by wearing hearing aids?
If hearing loss is part of the issue, it makes sense that hearing aids should be part of the remedy. And new research has borne that out. Your risk of falling could be decreased by as much as 50% according to one study.
The link between staying on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this evident. 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 wasn’t because the hearing aids weren’t working, it was because people weren’t using them.
But this new study took a different (and maybe more accurate) approach. Individuals who used their hearing aids now and again were segregated from people who used them all of the time.
So why does wearing your hearing aids help you prevent falls? They keep you less exhausted, more focused, and generally more vigilant. 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.
Consistently using 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 wear hearing aids, not to mention catch up with friends.
They can also help prevent a fall!
Schedule an appointment with us right away if you want to find out more about how your quality of life can be improved.