Untreated hearing loss leads to increased visits to the emergency room.

Having to visit the ER can be financially and personally costly. What if you could reduce your chances of accidents, falls, depression, anxiety, and even dementia while also preventing visits to the ER.

Emerging research makes the case that, for individuals with serious hearing loss, using their hearing aid could be the difference between staying connected and healthy and winding up spending many evenings in the emergency room.

The Study

This University of Michigan study assembled participants ranging from 65-85. Serious hearing loss was a widespread condition between them. But only 45% of the participants wore their hearing aids on a regular basis.

This is in agreement with comparable studies which have shown that only around 30% of individuals who have hearing aids actually wear them.

Of the 585 people in the hearing aid group, 12 fewer people ended up in the ER or non-elective hospital stay.

This might seem like a small number. But it’s statistically significant.

And that’s not all. They also found that one day fewer, on average, was spent in the hospital for people who used their hearing aids. Their time at the ER was probably reduced because they were more likely to keep their regular doctor’s appointments.

How Might Hearing Aids Decrease The Need For ER Visits?

The first one is obvious. You wouldn’t be as likely to require emergency care if you were paying attention to your health.

Also, people who wear their hearing aids stay more socially engaged. When a person is socially involved they are normally more motivated to keep their appointments and also have more help from family and friends getting to the doctor.

And driving is less dangerous when you can hear, so you will have more confidence if you are getting yourself to your appointment.

One study done in the U.S. discovered that depression is twice as likely in individuals who don’t use their hearing aid. Health issues linked to lack of self care is frequently an outcome of depression.

Risks of falling and dementia are, as outlined by various studies, also decreased by wearing your hearing aids. As a person starts to suffer from hearing impairment, the corresponding region of the brain starts to decline from lack of use. With time, this can spread through the brain. As this happens, people commonly experience dementia symptoms as well as the disorientation and lack of balance associated with falls.

Long hospital stays frequently accompany falls and falling is a leading cause of senior death.

Hearing aids minimize visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.

Why do so Many People Neglect Wearing Hearing Aids?

It’s difficult to come up with a legitimate excuse.

Some people don’t wear them because they think that hearing aids make them seem older than they are. 25% of individuals over 65 and 50% of people above the age of 75 have hearing loss and yet this perception of looking old with hearing aids persists. Hearing loss isn’t uncommon. It happens to lots of people. Plus, hearing loss is increasing even with 20-year-olds because of earbuds and the increase in noise pollution.

Ironically, frequently asking people to repeat themselves often makes a person appear much older than they are.

Cost is frequently noted as a worry. However, financing is possible for hearing aids and costs have come down in the last few years.

Some people 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 circumstances. Hearing aids can require several fittings before they are just right.

If something is preventing you from using your hearing aid, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist.

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