Having to visit the ER can be personally and financially costly. What if you could reduce your risk of falls, accidents, depression, anxiety, and even dementia while also preventing trips to the ER.
Emerging studies make the case that, for those with serious hearing loss, using their hearing aid could be the difference between staying involved and healthy and ending up spending many nights in the emergency room.
Participants between the ages of 65 and 85 participated in a University of Michigan study. Each had severe loss of hearing. But only 45% of the participants used their hearing aids regularly.
Other researchers have also revealed that hearing aids were used regularly by only 30% of individuals who had them.
Of the 585 individuals in the group who did use their hearing aids, 12 fewer people ended up in the ER or non-elective hospital stay.
This might not seem like a very large number. But statistically, this is significant.
And there’s more. 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 show up for regular appointments with their doctors, which most likely reduced their time in ER.
How Can Emergency Care Visits be Reduced by Using Hearing Aids?
First for the obvious one. You wouldn’t be as likely to require emergency care if you are paying attention to your health.
Also, people who use their hearing aids remain more socially engaged. This can lead to both a stronger motivation to keep that doctor’s appointment and better access to services and help to get to appointments.
For those driving themselves, it means that they will be able to drive more safely with less stress about what they’re not hearing.
In addition, a U.S. study revealed that those with hearing loss who don’t wear their hearing aid are twice as likely to be depressed. Depression can bring about a lack of self-care, which can lead to health issues.
The third thing is, several studies have found that wearing your hearing aid can reduce fall risk and dementia. The part of the brain that’s responsible for hearing will start to decline from lack of use as hearing declines. The rest of the brain is ultimately impacted. As this happens, people commonly experience dementia symptoms and the disorientation and lack of balance associated with falls.
Falls are one of the leading causes of death among individuals over 65, and the consequent hospitalizations last two times as long.
Hearing aids reduce visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
Why do so Many Individuals Avoid Wearing Hearing Aids?
It’s hard to come up with a legitimate excuse.
Fear of appearing old is one leading reason why some people don’t wear their hearing aids. This perception remains in spite of the fact that about 25% of people over 65 have significant hearing loss, and 50% of those 75 and older have it. Hearing impairment isn’t rare. It’s common. Additionally, hearing loss is increasing even among 20-year-olds thanks to earbuds and the rise in noise pollution.
It’s ironic that when someone is constantly asking people what they said it actually makes them appear older.
Some people cite the price of hearing aids. However, financing is available for hearing aids and prices have come down in the past few years.
Lastly, some don’t enjoy the hearing experience with their hearing aid. This can often be corrected by simply consulting your hearing specialist to learn how to more successfully use your hearing aid in different settings. Hearing aids can require several fittings before they are just right.
If something is preventing you from wearing your hearing aid, it’s time to make an appointment with your hearing specialist.