Hearing loss can be much more than an inconvenience. It also has the potential to be a serious health hazard. In fact, a recent University of Michigan study suggests that hearing aid use may help older adults with hearing difficulties stay out of the emergency room. To better understand how hearing aids prevent hospital visits, it’s important to remember that the human body is amazingly complex. While there is a tendency to approach its systems as separate and distinct when contemplating health issues, the reality is that everything is intertwined. To put it simply, hearing is not simply a matter of ear health. It also plays a role in a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
How Hearing Aids Prevent Hospital Visits
Do you know how hearing aids prevent hospital visits? Oddly enough, using hearing aids can help older adults stay healthier in multiple ways.
Hearing Aid Use Allows for Better Communication
It’s difficult to carry on an intelligent conversation when you cannot hear what is being said. When hearing loss begins to interfere with a person’s ability to communicate, it can create a sense of isolation, especially if the individual retreats out of frustration or because they don’t want to admit that they have trouble hearing. Hearing loss can also make it difficult to gather necessary information, which can impact many facets of life. For example, getting the most out of a doctor’s visit is challenging when you cannot hear the answers to your questions. The chance of a misunderstanding that could land you in the hospital increases when communication breaks down. Using hearing aids to restore your hearing allows you to be an active participant in your health care and other vital communications.
Hearing Aid Use Supports Awareness
The world is full of sounds, and many of those sounds are audible cues that provide valuable information. Whether it’s water running, a horn warning of the approach of an oncoming vehicle, a siren sounding an alarm regarding a nearby emergency, or the beep of a timer indicating that food being prepared is in need of attention, missing these signals can create a hardship and even put a person in danger.
In fact, a study using data collected by the National Health Interview Survey from 2007 to 2015 found that over a three-month period, 2.8 percent of adults reported an accidental injury, and the odds of being injured doubled amongst people with hearing issues. One of the most eye-opening results of the study was that people with minor hearing problems were more likely to suffer injuries than those with more severe hearing loss. Sadly, the study also revealed that one-third of the participants who considered their hearing “less than good or excellent” had never seen an audiologist and had their hearing checked. Another study, using CDC survey data, found that adults with hearing impairments were 1.5 times more likely to suffer occupational injuries, and adults who were deaf were almost twice as likely.
If you have hearing loss, using hearing aids makes it easier for you to be aware of what is going on around you so that you can respond appropriately to any potential dangers. Anyone experiencing some degree of hearing loss should have their auditory health checked by an audiologist.
Hearing Aid Use Preserves Balance
According to the National Council on Aging, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds. What does that have to do with how hearing aids prevent hospital visits? There’s reason to believe that hearing aid use can help prevent falls. What does hearing have to do with balance? The answer lies in the inner ear. A complicated collection of tubes, hairs, canals, and other mechanisms, the inner ear detects both sound and movement and plays a role in transmitting information about them to the brain in the form of electrical impulses. When changes in the inner ear trigger hearing loss, they may also impact balance. Correcting the hearing loss by using hearing aids can help preserve and restore balance, and better balance can help you avoid falls and the emergency room.
Hearing Aid Use Helps to Prevent Cognitive Decline
Cognitive decline is a loss of brain function. Many things can cause it, and symptoms include forgetfulness, agitation, difficulty thinking, impaired judgment, personality changes, and loss of emotional control. If you’re worried about cognitive decline, you’re probably already trying to do things to protect your mind like completing puzzles, seeking out new things to learn, staying involved in your community, eating a healthy diet, and exercising. Why should you add routine hearing checkups to your to-do list? According to a Johns Hopkins study, hearing loss increases the risk of dementia. In fact, in the study, mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk, moderate hearing loss tripled the risk, and severe hearing loss resulted in a fivefold increase in the risk of developing dementia.
Hearing Aid Use Protects Against Psychological Issues
The dangers of untreated hearing loss extend to psychological issues. According to the American Academy of Audiology, hearing-impaired adults with untreated hearing loss are far more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia than their peers. Unfortunately, chronic depression is linked to additional issues like insomnia, memory loss, poor nutrition, and increased mortality rates. However, hearing aid use has the potential to reverse the tide. With the right hearing aids to restore your hearing, participating in social activities and interacting with others at home and work becomes significantly easier. This can build self-confidence, improve mood, and promote better mental and emotional health.
Hearing aids could help you live a healthier, happier life. Now that you know how hearing aids prevent hospital visits, we encourage you to visit Sound Relief Hearing Center of Colorado if you believe that you suffer from hearing loss.
We are independently owned, so we always have the patient’s best interests at heart, and our state-of-the-art technology ensures that our patients receive the best treatment available. With our unparalleled excellence in the hearing industry, our dedication to patient satisfaction, and our commitment to helping people control and conquer their hearing issues, you can count on Sound Relief Hearing Center for support and assistance. To learn more about us, please browse our website, visit our YouTube channel, or give us a call at 720-344-7600. You can also schedule an appointment online to meet with one of our audiologists. We look forward to hearing from you!
At Sound Relief Hearing Center, we provide hope and help to those living with tinnitus and other hearing health issues. Our patients are at the center of everything we do, and we strive to guide them to overcome their challenges by delivering innovative and compassionate healthcare.
Dr. Julie Prutsman, owner of this family-owned practice, has expanded to 8 locations across Colorado and Arizona. In 2012, she founded Sound Relief in her hometown of Highlands Ranch, Colorado and continues to foster their mission through mentorship of the brightest minds in the field of Audiology.