Kids tend to fall pretty much every day. Taking a tumble on your bicycle? That’s typical. Tripping over your own feet when you’re running outside? Happens every day. It isn’t really a concern because, well, kids are quite limber. They rebound quite easily.
As you grow older though, that becomes less and less true. The older you get, the more concerning a fall can be. One reason for this is that bones break easier and heal slower when you’re older. Older people tend to spend more time on the floor in pain because they have a more difficult time getting back up. 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. New research appears to indicate that we might have determined one such device: hearing aids.
Can falls be caused by hearing loss
If you want to fully grasp how hearing aids could potentially prevent a fall, you need to ask this relevant question: does hearing loss make a fall more likely to begin with? In some cases, it appears that the answer is a strong yes.
So you have to ask yourself, why would the danger of falling be increased by hearing loss?
That link isn’t really that intuitive. After all, hearing loss does not directly impact 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 effect on your ability to move around, and these symptoms can result in an increased danger of falling. Here are a few of those symptoms:
- Your situational awareness is impaired: You may not be able to hear the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps, the dog barking next door, or an approaching vehicle when you have neglected hearing loss. In other words, your situational awareness may be substantially impacted. Can loss of hearing make you clumsy in this way? Well, in a way yes, everyday tasks can become more dangerous if your situational awareness is jeopardized. And that means you could be a little bit more likely to unintentionally bump into something, and have a fall.
- Depression: Social isolation and possibly even mental decline can be the result of neglected hearing loss. You are likely to stay home a lot more when you’re socially separated, and tripping hazards will be all around without anybody to help you.
- Exhaustion: When you have neglected hearing loss, your ears are always straining, and your brain is always working overtime. Your brain will be constantly exhausted as a consequence. An alert brain will identify and steer clear of obstacles, which will decrease the risk of having a fall.
- Loss of balance: How is your balance affected by hearing loss? Well, your overall balance depends heavily on your inner ear. So you may find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss affects your inner ear. Because of this, you could fall down more often.
- You’re unable to hear high-frequency sounds: When you go into an arena, you know how even if you close your eyes, you can tell you’re in a huge space? Or how you can immediately tell that you’re in a small space when you get into a car. Your ears are actually utilizing something similar to “echolocation” and high-frequency sound to help your spatial awareness. When you can no longer hear high-pitch sounds due to hearing loss, you can’t make those judgments quite as quickly or easily. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the consequences.
Age is also a consideration when it comes to hearing loss-induced falls. You’re more likely to develop progressing and irreversible hearing loss. That will increase the chance of falling. Consequently, when you get older, falls are more likely to have severe consequences.
How can the risk of falling be reduced by using hearing aids?
It seems logical that hearing aids would be part of the solution when hearing loss is the problem. And new research has confirmed that. Your danger of falling could be decreased by as much as 50% based on one study.
The connection between staying on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this evident. In part, that’s because not everybody wears their hearing aids all of the time. So it was inconclusive how frequently hearing aid users were having a fall. This wasn’t because the hearing aids were malfunctioning, it was because individuals weren’t wearing them.
The approach of this study was conducted differently and maybe more accurately. Individuals who used their hearing aids now and then were separated from individuals who wore them all of the time.
So how can you prevent falls by wearing hearing aids? Generally speaking, they keep you more vigilant, more concentrated, and less exhausted. It doesn’t hurt that you have added situational awareness. Many hearing aids also include a feature that can alert the authorities and family members if a fall happens. This can mean you get help faster (this is critical for people 65 or older).
Regularly wearing your hearing aids is the trick here.
Invest in your fall prevention devices today
You will be able to remain close to your loved ones if you use hearing aids, not to mention catch up with friends.
They can also help prevent a fall!
Schedule an appointment with us today if you want to find out more about how your quality of life can be enhanced.