Trips to the ER can cost you time off work, not to mention personal pain. What if you could minimize ER trips and dramatically reduce your risk of depression, anxiety, and even dementia.
Emerging studies make the case that, for individuals with severe 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.
This University of Michigan study assembled participants that ranged from 65-85. Each had significant loss of hearing. But only 45% of the participants used their hearing aids regularly.
Other studies have also revealed that hearing aids were worn regularly by only 30% of people who had them.
12 fewer, of the 585 individuals who did wear their hearing aid, had Er visits or unplanned hospitalizations.
This might seem like a moderate number. But statistically, this is substantial.
And there’s more. They also determined that those who used their hearing aids spend, on average, one day fewer in the hospital. 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 need emergency care if you are keeping up on your health.
Other research has shown that when people with hearing loss wear their hearing aids, they stay more connected to family, friends, and the community. When a person is socially involved they are usually more committed to keeping keep their appointments and also have more support from friends and family getting to the doctor.
For those driving themselves, it means that they will be able to drive more safely with less stress about what they’re not hearing.
One study conducted in the U.S. found that depression is twice as likely in individuals who don’t wear their hearing aid. Depression can result in a lack of self-care, which can lead to health issues.
The third thing is, various studies have shown that wearing your hearing aid can decrease the risk of falling and cognitive decline. As a person begins to suffer from hearing impairment, the associated region of the brain begins to decline from disuse. With time, this can extend through the brain. As this occurs, people frequently experience dementia symptoms as well as the disorientation and lack of balance connected with falls.
Long hospital stays frequently accompany falls and falling is a leading cause of senior death.
Hearing aids reduce visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
Why do so Many People Neglect Wearing Hearing Aids?
It’s hard to come up with a legitimate excuse.
Some people don’t use them because they think that hearing aids make them seem older than they actually 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 unusual. It’s common. Additionally, hearing loss is on the rise even with 20-year-olds because of earbuds and the rise in noise pollution.
Ironically, constantly asking people to repeat themselves often makes a person look much older than they are.
Price is frequently mentioned as a concern. However, financing is available for hearing aids and prices have come down in the last few years.
Finally, some don’t enjoy the hearing experience with their hearing aid. This can normally be fixed by simply consulting your hearing specialist to learn how to more successfully use your hearing aid in various settings. Hearing aids sometimes need numerous 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.