Kids tend to fall on a daily basis. Taking a spill on your bicycle? That’s normal. Getting tripped up when running across the yard. Happens every day. Kids are very limber so, no big deal. They bounce back pretty easily.
The same can’t be said as you age. The older you get, the more concerning a fall can be. To some extent, that’s because your bones generally break more easily (and heal slower). Older people might have a harder time getting up after a tumble, so they spend more time in pain lying on the floor. Falling is the leading injury-related cause of death as a result.
It isn’t shocking, then, that healthcare professionals are always on the lookout for tools and devices that can decrease falls. Hearing aids could be just such a device according to research.
Can falls be caused by hearing loss
In order to determine why hearing aids can help avert falls, it helps to ask a related question: is it possible that hearing loss can increase your risk of having a fall? It appears as though the answer may be, yes.
So the question is, why would the danger of falling be increased by hearing loss?
That connection isn’t exactly intuitive. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, affect your ability to move or see. But this type of direct impact on your mobility, and an increased danger of falling, can be a result of some hearing loss symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:
- Depression: Neglected hearing loss can result in social solitude and depression (along with an increased danger of dementia). When you’re socially separated, you may be more likely to spend time at home, where tripping dangers abound, and be less likely to have help nearby.
- Loss of balance: How does hearing loss impact your balance? Well, your inner ear is incredibly significant to your overall equilibrium. So you might find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss impacts 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 untreated hearing loss. This means your brain is tired more often than not. A tired 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 noticed.
- High-frequency sounds get lost: You know how when you go into a concert hall, you immediately detect that you’re in a large venue, even if your eyes are closed? Or when you get into a car and you instantly know you’re in a small space? That’s because your ears are using high-frequency sounds to help you “echolocate,” basically. When you’re unable to hear high-frequency sounds because of hearing loss, you can’t make those assessments quite as quickly or easily. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the consequences.
- Your situational awareness is impaired: When you have neglected hearing loss, you may not be as able to hear that oncoming vehicle, or the dog barking beside you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. In other words, your situational awareness may be significantly affected. Can hearing loss make you clumsy in this way? Well, kind of, loss of situational awareness can make daily activities a bit more hazardous. And that means you might be slightly more likely to unintentionally stumble into something, and take a tumble.
Age is also a factor with regard to hearing loss-associated falls. As you grow older, you’re more likely to experience permanent and progressive hearing loss. That will raise the probability of falling. Consequently, when you get older, falls are more likely to have serious repercussions.
How can hearing aids help minimize falls?
It makes sense that hearing aids would be part of the remedy when hearing loss is the issue. And new research has borne that out. Your danger of falling could be reduced by as much as 50% based on one study.
The relationship between remaining on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this clear. In part, that’s because not everybody uses their hearing aids all of the time. As a result, falls among “hearing aid users” were frequently inconclusive. This wasn’t because the hearing aids weren’t working, it was because individuals weren’t wearing them.
The approach of this research was carried out differently and maybe more precisely. Individuals who wore their hearing aids now and again were segregated from people who wore them all of the time.
So why does using your hearing aids help you prevent falls? They keep you less exhausted, more concentrated, and generally more alert. The increased situational awareness doesn’t hurt either. Many hearing aids also include a feature that can alert the authorities and family members in case of a fall. Help will come faster this way.
Regularly using your hearing aids is the key here.
Prevent falls with new hearing aids
Hearing aids can help you catch up with your friends, enjoy quality moments with your loved ones, and remain in touch with everyone who’s important in your life.
They can also help prevent a fall!
Schedule an appointment with us today if you want to learn more about how your quality of life can be enhanced.