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

Kids have a tendency to fall pretty much every day. Wiping out on your bicycle? That’s normal. Getting tripped up while running across the yard. Also pretty normal. Kids are very limber so, no big deal. They rebound quite easily.

The same can’t be said as you get older. The older you get, the more worrisome a fall can become. In part, that’s because your bones tend to break more easily (and heal more slowly). Older individuals might have a more difficult time standing back up after a fall, so they spend more time in pain lying on the floor. Consequently, falls are the number one injury-connected cause of death in individuals over 65.

It isn’t shocking, then, that healthcare professionals are always on the lookout for tools and devices that can lessen falls. New research appears to indicate that we might have determined one such device: hearing aids.

Can hearing loss bring about falls?

If you want to understand how hearing aids could possibly prevent a fall, you need to ask this relevant question: is it possible that hearing loss can raise your chance of falling? It looks as if the answer may be, yes.

So the question is, why would the risk of falling be raised by hearing loss?

There isn’t exactly an intuitive association. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, affect your ability to move or see. But it turns out there are a few symptoms of hearing loss that do have this kind of direct impact on your ability to move around, and these symptoms can result in a higher danger of having a fall. Here are some of those symptoms:

  • You’re unable to hear high-frequency sounds: You know how when you walk into a concert hall, you instantly detect that you’re in a spacious venue, even if your eyes are closed? Or when you get into a car and you immediately know you’re in close quarters? Your ears are actually utilizing something like “echolocation” and high-frequency sound to help your spatial awareness. You will lose the ability to rapidly make those judgment calls when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-pitched tones. This can result in disorientation and loss of situational awareness.
  • Depression: Neglected hearing loss can cause social isolation and depression (and also an increased risk of dementia). When you’re socially isolated, you might be more likely to stay at home, where tripping dangers abound, and be less likely to have help nearby.
  • Loss of balance: How can 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 may find yourself a little more likely to get dizzy, experience vertigo, or have difficulty keeping your balance. As a result of this, you could fall down more frequently.
  • You have less situational awareness: When you have untreated hearing loss, you might not be as able to hear that approaching vehicle, or the barking dog next to you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. In other words, your situational awareness may be substantially affected. Can you become clumsy like this because of hearing loss? Well, kind of, loss of situational awareness can make everyday tasks slightly more dangerous. And your chance of stumbling into something and falling will be slightly higher.
  • Exhaustion: Your brain is working overtime and you’re always straining when you have neglected hearing loss. This means your brain is exhausted more often than not. An attentive brain will detect and steer clear of obstacles, which will lessen the likelihood of having a fall.

Age is also a factor when it comes to hearing loss-related falls. You’re more likely to develop progressing and permanent hearing loss. At the same time, you’re more likely to have a fall. Consequently, when you get older, falls are more likely to have serious consequences.

How can the risk of falling be lowered by wearing hearing aids?

It makes sense that hearing aids would be part of the solution when hearing loss is the issue. And this is being validated by new research. Your danger of falling could be lowered by up to 50% based on one study.

The relationship between remaining on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this clear. Partly, that’s because not everybody wears their hearing aids all of the time. As a result, falls among “hearing aid users” were often inconclusive. This was because individuals weren’t wearing their hearing aids, not because their hearing aids were malfunctioning.

The method of this study was carried out differently and maybe more precisely. Those who used their hearing aids frequently were classified into a different group than those who wore them intermittently.

So how can you prevent falls by using hearing aids? They keep you less fatigued, more concentrated, and generally more alert. It doesn’t hurt that you have added situational awareness. Additionally, many hearing aids have safety features designed to activate in the case of a fall. Help will come quicker this way.

But the trick here is to make sure you’re using your hearing aids frequently and consistently.

Invest in your fall prevention devices today

You will be able to remain close to your loved ones 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, make an appointment with us right away.

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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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