Trips to the ER can cost you time off work, and also personal pain. What if you could reduce your risk of accidents, falls, anxiety, depression, and even dementia while also eliminating trips to the ER.
Surfacing research makes the case that, for individuals with severe 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.
This University of Michigan research assembled participants ranging from 65-85. Each had extreme hearing loss. But out of all of those who took part, only 45% of them wore their hearing aids regularly.
Other researchers have also shown that hearing aids were worn regularly by only 30% of individuals who had them.
Of the 585 people in the group who did use their hearing aids, 12 fewer people found themselves in the ER or non-elective hospital stay.
This might seem like a moderate number. But it’s statistically substantial.
And there’s more. They also found that those who wore their hearing aids spend, on average, one day fewer in the hospital. They were more likely to show up for regular appointments with their doctors, which likely decreased their time in ER.
How Might Hearing Aids Minimize The Need For Emergency Care Visits?
The first one is obvious. You would be less likely to require emergency care if you are paying attention to your health.
Other studies have revealed that when people with hearing loss wear their hearing aids, they stay more connected to family, friends, and the community. When a person is socially connected they are usually more motivated to keep their appointments and also have more support from friends and family getting to the doctor.
And driving is safer when you can hear, so you will be more confident if you are getting yourself to your appointment.
In addition, a U.S. study revealed that people with hearing loss who don’t wear their hearing aid are two times as likely to be depressed. Health issues linked to lack of self care is commonly an outcome of depression.
Thirdly, several studies have shown that using your hearing aid can lessen fall risk and cognitive decline. The region of the brain that’s used for hearing will begin to decline from lack of use as hearing declines. With time, this can extend through the brain. As this happens, people often experience dementia symptoms as well as the disorientation and lack of balance associated with falls.
Long hospital stays frequently accompany falls and falling is a major cause of senior death.
These are just a few of the reasons that hearing aids help decrease ER visits.
Why do so Many People Neglect Wearing Hearing Aids?
There’s really no good reason.
Fear of looking old is one leading reason why some individuals don’t use their hearing aids. This perception persists in spite of the fact that about 25% of people over 65 have substantial hearing loss, and 50% of those 75 and above have it. Hearing loss isn’t uncommon. It happens to lots of people. Plus, 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 always asking people what they said it actually makes them look older.
Price is frequently cited as a worry. However, hearing aids have become more affordable in just the past few years, and there are ways to finance them.
Some individuals don’t like the way hearing aids sound. If this is a problem for you, your hearing specialist can help you understand what settings work best in different circumstances. Hearing aids sometimes need numerous 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.