When you’re a youngster, falling is simply a part of life. Taking a spill on your bicycle? Not unusual. Stumbling over your own feet when you’re running outside? Also fairly typical. It’s not really a worry because, well, kids are kind of limber. They don’t usually stay down for very long.
The same cannot be said as you age. Falling becomes more and more of a worry as you age. One reason for this is that bones break easier and heal slower when you’re older. Older people may have a harder 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 minimize falls are always being sought out by healthcare professionals. Hearing aids may be just such a device according to research.
Can falls be caused by hearing loss
In order to understand why hearing aids can help avert falls, it helps to ask a relevant question: does hearing loss make you more likely to fall in the first place? It looks as though the answer might be, yes.
So you have to ask yourself, why would the danger of falling be raised by hearing loss?
That association isn’t really that intuitive. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, affect your ability to see or move. But it turns out there are certain symptoms of hearing loss that do have this type of direct effect on your ability to get around, and these symptoms can lead to a higher danger of having a fall. Here are a few of those symptoms:
- Loss of balance: How can hearing loss impact your balance? Well, your inner ear is extremely important to your overall equilibrium. So you might find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss affects the inner ear. Essentially, you have a tendency to fall more often.
- Exhaustion: When you’re dealing with untreated hearing loss, your ears are always straining, and your brain is always working overtime. Your brain will be constantly tired as a result. A tired brain is less likely to detect that obstacle in your path, and, as a consequence, you may wind up tripping and falling over something that an alert brain would have seen.
- You have less situational awareness: You might not be able to hear the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps, the dog barking next door, or an oncoming vehicle when you have neglected hearing loss. Your situational awareness might be substantially affected, in other words. Can loss of hearing make you clumsy like this? Well, kind of, loss of situational awareness can make daily tasks a bit more hazardous. And your risk of bumping into something and having a fall will be a little higher.
- High-pitched sounds get lost: You know how when you go into a concert hall, you instantly detect that you’re in a spacious venue, even if your eyes are closed? Or how you can instantly detect that you’re in a small space when you get into a car. That’s because your ears are utilizing high-frequency sounds to help you “echolocate,” basically. You will lose the ability to rapidly make those assessments when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-frequency tones. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the consequences.
- Depression: Social solitude and maybe even mental decline can be the consequence of untreated hearing loss. When you’re socially separated, you might be more likely to spend time at home, where tripping dangers are everywhere, and be less likely to have help nearby.
Part of the connection between hearing loss and falling is also in your age. You’re more likely to develop progressing and irreversible hearing loss. That will raise the probability of falling. Consequently, when you get older, falls are more likely to have serious consequences.
How can hearing aids help minimize falls?
It seems logical that hearing aids would be part of the remedy when hearing loss is the problem. And this is being validated by new research. Your risk of falling could be lowered by up to 50% based on one study.
In the past, these figures (and the connection between hearing aids and staying on your feet) were a little less clear. That’s partly because individuals frequently fail to use their hearing aids. As a consequence, falls among “hearing aid users” were frequently inconclusive. This was because people weren’t using their hearing aids, not because their hearing aids were malfunctioning.
The method of this research was conducted differently and perhaps more precisely. 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? Generally speaking, they keep you more vigilant, more focused, and less fatigued. The increased situational awareness doesn’t hurt either. In addition, many hearing aids have safety features created to trigger in the case of a fall. This can mean you get assistance quicker (this is essential for people older than 65).
Consistently wearing your hearing aids is the key here.
Get your fall prevention devices today
You will be able to remain close to your loved ones if you use hearing aids, not to mention catch up with friends.
They can also help you stay on your feet, literally!
Make an appointment with us right away if you want to know more about how your quality of life can be enhanced.