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

Trips to the ER cause you to miss work, and also personal pain. What if you could lessen your chances of accidents, falls, depression, anxiety, and even dementia while also preventing visits to the ER.

Surfacing research makes the case that, for people with severe hearing loss, using their hearing aid could be the difference between staying involved and healthy and winding up spending many evenings in the emergency room.

The Research

This University of Michigan study assembled participants ranging from 65-85. Each had severe loss of hearing. But only 45% of the participants used their hearing aids on a regular basis.

Other researchers have also demonstrated that hearing aids were worn regularly by only 30% of individuals who had them.

12 fewer, of the 585 individuals who did use their hearing aid, had Er visits or unplanned hospitalizations.

This might not seem like a very large number. But it’s statistically substantial.

And that’s not all. They also discovered that one day fewer, on average, was spent in the hospital for people who used their hearing aids. They were more likely to keep regular appointments with their doctors, which most likely decreased their time in ER.

How Can ER Visits be Decreased by Wearing Hearing Aids?

First for the obvious one. If an individual is keeping up with their health, they’re more likely to stay out of ER.

Other research has shown that when people with hearing loss use their hearing aids, they stay more connected to family, friends, and the community. When a person is socially connected 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 safer when you can hear, so you will have more confidence if you are bringing yourself to your appointment.

One study conducted in the U.S. discovered that depression is twice as likely in individuals who don’t wear their hearing aid. Depression can bring about a lack of self-care, which can lead to health issues.

The third thing is, numerous studies have found that using your hearing aid can reduce 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. The rest of the brain is ultimately impacted. As this occurs, people frequently experience dementia symptoms and the disorientation and lack of balance associated with falls.

Falls are one of the major causes of death among those over 65, and the consequent hospital stays last twice as long.

These are only a few of the reasons that hearing aids help decrease ER visits.

So Why is Wearing Hearing Aids Something That so Many People Neglect?

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

Some people don’t wear them because they think that hearing aids make them look older than they actually are. This perception persists despite the fact that about 25% of people over 65 have substantial hearing loss, and 50% of those 75 and older have it. Hearing impairment isn’t rare. It’s common. And due to the rise in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is on the rise with people in their twenties.

Ironically, frequently asking people to repeat what they said often makes a person look a lot older than they are.

Some individuals reference the price of hearing aids. However, financing is possible for hearing aids and prices have come down in the last few years.

Some individuals don’t like the way hearing aids sound. This can typically be corrected by simply working with your hearing specialist to learn how to more effectively use your hearing aid in different settings. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound optimal on the first fitting and sometimes require a number of attempts.

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

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