Having to visit the ER can be financially and personally costly. What if you could reduce your chances of falls, accidents, depression, anxiety, and even dementia while also preventing trips to the ER.
Using your hearing aid can be the difference between having an engaged healthy life and taking many trips to the ER, according to some new research.
This University of Michigan research assembled participants that ranged from 65-85. Severe hearing loss was a common condition between them. But out of all of those people who took part, only 45% of them used their hearing aids on a regular basis.
This is on par with similar studies which have found that only about 30% of individuals who have hearing aids actually wear them.
Of the 585 people in the hearing aid group, 12 fewer people found themselves in the ER or non-elective hospital stay.
This might not seem like a very large number. But statistically, this is significant.
And there’s more. They also discovered that one day fewer, on average, was spent in the hospital for individuals who wore their hearing aids. Their time at the ER was probably decreased because they were more likely to show up for their regular doctor’s appointments.
How Can Emergency Care Visits be Decreased by Using Hearing Aids?
First for the obvious one. You would be less likely to require emergency care if you are paying attention to your health.
Other research has shown 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 involved they are normally more committed to keeping keep their appointments and also have more help from friends and family getting to the doctor.
For those driving themselves, it means that they will be able to drive more safely with less stress about what they’re not hearing.
One study carried out in the U.S. found that depression is twice as likely in individuals who don’t wear their hearing aid. Depression can result in a lack of self-care, which can lead to health problems.
The third thing is, numerous studies have found that using your hearing aid can lessen fall risk and dementia. The part of the brain that’s used for hearing will start to decline from lack of use as hearing declines. With time, this can extend through the brain. The disorientation associated with falls and symptoms of dementia are commonly the result.
Long hospital stays frequently accompany falls and falling is a leading cause of senior death.
Hearing aids decrease visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
Why do so Many People Avoid Wearing Hearing Aids?
It’s hard to come up with a valid excuse.
Fear of appearing old is one leading reason why some individuals don’t use their hearing aids. This perception persists despite the fact that nearly 25% of individuals over 65 have substantial hearing loss, and 50% of those 75 and older have it. Hearing loss is not unusual. It happens to lots of people. And thanks to the increase in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is on the rise with people in their twenties.
Ironically, constantly asking people to repeat what they said often makes a person appear a lot older than they are.
Price is often cited as a worry. However, the price of hearing aids has come down in just the past few years, and there are financing options available.
Some individuals don’t like how hearing aids sound. If this is a problem for you, your hearing specialist can help you understand what settings work best in different situations. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound perfect on the first fitting and sometimes require a few attempts.
If something is preventing you from using your hearing aid, it’s time to make an appointment with your hearing specialist.