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

When you’re a youngster, falling is simply a part of life. Wiping out on your bicycle? That’s typical. Getting tripped up when sprinting across the yard. Happens every day. Kids are quite limber so, no big deal. They bounce back quite easily.

As you get older though, that becomes less and less true. The older you get, the more worrisome a fall can be. One reason for this is that bones break easier and heal slower when you’re older. Older individuals may have a more difficult time standing back up after a tumble, so they spend more time in pain on the floor. Falling is the leading injury-associated cause of death as a result.

That’s why tools and devices that can decrease falls are always being sought after by healthcare professionals. New research appears to indicate that we might have found one such device: hearing aids.

Can hearing loss cause falls?

If you want to know how hearing aids could possibly prevent a fall, you need to ask this relevant question: is it possible that hearing loss can increase your risk of having a fall? In some situations, it seems that the answer is a strong yes.

So you have to ask yourself, why would the risk of falling be raised by hearing loss?

There isn’t exactly an intuitive link. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, impact your ability to see or move. But this sort of direct impact on your mobility, and an increased risk of falling, can be a result of some hearing loss symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:

  • High-pitched sounds get lost: You know how when you walk into an auditorium, you instantly detect that you’re in a huge venue, even if you close your eyes? Or how you can immediately detect that you’re in a small space when you get into a vehicle. That’s because your ears are using high-pitched sounds to help you “echolocate,” basically. When you can no longer hear high-pitch sounds due to hearing loss, you can’t make those judgments quite as rapidly or easily. This can cause disorientation and loss of situational awareness.
  • Depression: Untreated hearing loss can result in social solitude and depression (not to mention an increased danger of dementia). When you’re socially isolated, you might be more likely to stay at home, where tripping dangers are everywhere, and be less likely to have help close at hand.
  • Exhaustion: When you have untreated hearing loss, your ears are constantly straining, and your brain is always working extra hard. Your brain will be continuously tired as a consequence. An alert brain will identify and steer clear of obstacles, which will reduce the chance of falling.
  • Your situational awareness is impaired: You might not be capable of hearing the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps, the dog barking next door, or an approaching vehicle when you have untreated hearing loss. Your situational awareness could be significantly affected, in other words. Can loss of hearing make you clumsy in this way? Well, sort of, loss of situational awareness can make daily activities a bit more dangerous. And that means you could be slightly more likely to accidentally bump into something, and take a tumble.
  • Loss of balance: How is your balance impacted by hearing loss? Well, your general balance depends heavily on your inner ear. So you might find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss impacts the inner ear. As a result of this, you could fall down more often.

Part of the link between hearing loss and falling is also in your age. You’re more likely to develop progressing and irreversible hearing loss. That will increase the chance of falling. And when you’re older, falling can have much more severe consequences.

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

If hearing loss is part of the issue, it makes sense that hearing aids should be part of the remedy. And this is being confirmed by new research. Your risk of falling could be lowered by as much as 50% according to one study.

In the past, these numbers (and the link between hearing aids and remaining on your feet) were a little bit fuzzier. That’s partly because individuals frequently fail to use their hearing aids. As a consequence, falls among “hearing aid users” were often inconclusive. This was because people weren’t wearing their hearing aids, not because their hearing aids were malfunctioning.

But this new study took a different (and maybe more accurate) approach. People who used their hearing aids often were classified into a different group than people who used them intermittently.

So how can you prevent falls by wearing hearing aids? They keep you less fatigued, more focused, and generally more vigilant. It doesn’t hurt that you have added spatial awareness. In addition, many hearing aids have safety features created to trigger in the case of a fall. Help will come quicker this way.

Consistently using your hearing aids is the trick here.

Get your fall prevention devices today

You will be able to stay close to your family members if you wear hearing aids, not to mention catch up with friends.

They can also help prevent a fall!

Schedule an appointment with us right away if you want to learn more about how your quality of life can be enhanced.

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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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