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

When you’re a kid, falling is just a part of life. Wiping out on your bike? That’s typical. Stumbling over your own feet while you’re running outside? Happens every day. It isn’t really a concern because, well, kids are kind of limber. They don’t typically stay down for long.

As you grow older though, that becomes less and less true. Falling becomes much more of a worry as you grow older. To some extent, that’s because your bones tend to break more easily (and heal slower). Older people tend to spend more time lying on the floor in pain because they have a harder time getting back up. Consequently, falls are the number one injury-related cause of death in individuals over 65.

That’s why tools and devices that can decrease falls are always being sought out by healthcare professionals. Hearing aids could be just such a device according to research.

Can falls be caused by hearing loss

If you want to know how hearing aids could possibly prevent a fall, you need to ask this related question: is it feasible that hearing loss can raise your chance of having a fall? It appears as though the answer might be, yes.

So why does hearing loss increase the risk of a fall for people?

There’s not really an intuitive association. After all, hearing loss doesn’t directly influence your ability to move or see. But this kind of direct impact on your mobility, and an elevated danger of falling, can be a consequence of some hearing loss symptoms. Here are some of those symptoms:

  • You’re unable to hear high-frequency sounds: You know how when you go into a concert hall, you instantly know that you’re in a spacious venue, even if you close your eyes? Or when you jump into a car and you instantly know you’re in close quarters? That’s because your ears are utilizing high-pitched sounds to help you “echolocate,” basically. You will lose the ability to quickly make those judgment calls when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-frequency tones. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the outcome.
  • Depression: Untreated hearing loss can cause social solitude and depression (along with an increased danger 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 anyone to help you.
  • Loss of balance: How is your balance impacted by hearing loss? Well, your inner ear is extremely important to your total equilibrium. So you might find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss affects your inner ear. Because of this, you may fall down more frequently.
  • Exhaustion: Your brain is working overtime and you’re always straining when you have untreated hearing loss. This means your brain is exhausted more often than not. An attentive brain will notice and avoid obstacles, which will reduce the risk of falling.
  • Your situational awareness is impaired: You might not be able to hear 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 impacted. Can you become clumsy like this as a result of hearing loss? Well, kind of, loss of situational awareness can make everyday activities a little more hazardous. And your chance of bumping into something and having a fall will be a little higher.

Part of the link between hearing loss and falling is also in your age. You’re more likely to experience progressing and permanent hearing loss. At the same time, you’re more likely to have a fall. As a result, when you get older, falls are more likely to have serious consequences.

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

It seems logical that hearing aids would be part of the solution when hearing loss is the problem. And new research has borne that out. Your risk of falling could be lowered by up to 50% according to one study.

The connection between staying on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this evident. That’s partly because people frequently fail to use their hearing aids. So it was inconclusive how often hearing aid users were having a fall. This was because people 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 effectively. Individuals who wore their hearing aids now and again were separated from people who used them all of the time.

So why does wearing your hearing aids help you prevent falls? In general, they keep you more vigilant, more focused, and less tired. The increased situational awareness also helped. In addition, many hearing aids include safety features designed to trigger in the case of a fall. This can mean you get help faster (this is essential for individuals 65 or older).

Consistently using your hearing aids is the key here.

Prevent falls with new hearing aids

Hearing aids can help you catch up with your friends, enjoy quality time with your family members, and stay in touch with everyone who’s important in your life.

They can also help you remain on your feet, literally!

If you want to learn 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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