Kids tend to fall pretty much every day. Wiping out on your bicycle? That’s typical. Getting tripped up while running across the yard. Happens all of the time. Kids are very limber so, no big deal. They rebound very easily.
As you get older though, that becomes less and less true. Falling becomes more and more of a concern as you get older. One reason for this is that bones break easier and heal slower when you’re older. Older individuals may have a harder time getting up after falling, so they spend more time in pain lying on the floor. 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 relevant question: is it feasible that hearing loss can increase your chance of having a fall? It looks as though the answer might be, yes.
So why does hearing loss raise the risk of a fall for people?
That link isn’t really that intuitive. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, affect your ability to move or see. But it turns out there are some 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 danger of falling. Some of those symptoms include:
- Loss of balance: How is your balance impacted by hearing loss? Well, your general balance depends greatly on your inner ear. So you may find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss affects the inner ear. In other words, you have a tendency to fall more frequently.
- You have less situational awareness: You may not be capable of hearing the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps, the barking dog next door, or an oncoming vehicle when you have neglected hearing loss. In other words, your situational awareness may be significantly affected. Can you become clumsy in this way because of hearing loss? Well, kind of, loss of situational awareness can make daily activities slightly more dangerous. And that means you might be slightly more likely to accidentally bump into something, and have a tumble.
- High-pitched sounds get lost: You know how when you go into an auditorium, you instantly know that you’re in a huge venue, even if you close your eyes? 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-pitched sounds to help you “echolocate,” basically. You will lose the ability to rapidly make those judgment calls when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-frequency tones. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the result.
- Depression: Untreated hearing loss can cause social isolation and depression (and also an increased risk of dementia). You are likely to be at home a lot more when you’re socially isolated, and tripping hazards will be all around without anybody to help you.
- Exhaustion: When you’re dealing with neglected hearing loss, your ears are always straining, and your brain is always working extra hard. Your brain will be continuously tired as a consequence. An exhausted brain is less likely to detect that obstacle in your path, and, as a consequence, you may end up tripping and falling over something that an attentive brain would have noticed.
Age is also a factor with regard to hearing loss-induced falls. As you grow older, you’re more likely to develop permanent and progressive hearing loss. That will increase the chance of falling. Consequently, when you get older, falls are more likely to have severe repercussions.
How can hearing aids help minimize falls?
If hearing loss is part of the problem, it makes sense that hearing aids would be part of the solution. And this is being confirmed by new research. One recent study revealed that wearing hearing aids could cut your risk of a fall in half.
The relationship between remaining on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this obvious. In part, that’s because not everyone wears their hearing aids all of the time. So it was inconclusive how often hearing aid users were falling. This was because people weren’t using their hearing aids, not because their hearing aids were malfunctioning.
The method of this study was conducted differently and perhaps more effectively. Those who wore their hearing aids often were classified into a different group than people who wore them intermittently.
So why does using your hearing aids help you avoid falls? They keep you less exhausted, more concentrated, and generally more alert. It also helps that you have increased situational awareness. Additionally, many hearing aids have safety features created to trigger in the case of a fall. Help will arrive faster this way.
Consistently wearing your hearing aids is the key here.
Get 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 remain on your feet, literally!
If you want to find out more about how hearing aids could help you, schedule an appointment with us right away.