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Senior woman fell down and is sitting on carpet and touching forehead with hand

Kids have a tendency to fall on a daily basis. Wiping out on your bicycle? That’s normal. Stumbling over your own feet while you’re running outside? Happens all of the time. Kids are quite limber so, no big deal. They rebound very easily.

As you get older though, that becomes less and less true. The older you get, the more worrisome a fall can be. To some extent, that’s because your bones generally break more easily (and heal slower). Older individuals tend to spend more time lying on the floor in pain because they have a harder time getting back up. Falling is the leading injury-related cause of death as a result.

It isn’t surprising, then, that healthcare professionals are always on the hunt for tools and devices that can reduce falls. New research appears to indicate that we may have found one such device: hearing aids.

Can hearing loss bring about falls?

In order to determine why hearing aids can help prevent falls, it helps to ask a relevant question: does hearing loss make a fall more likely in the first place? In some instances, it seems that the answer is a definite yes.

So you have to ask yourself, why would the risk of falling be increased by hearing loss?

That association isn’t really that intuitive. After all, hearing loss does not directly influence your ability to move or see. But it turns out there are a few symptoms of hearing loss that do have this kind of direct effect on your ability to get around, and these symptoms can result in an increased danger of having a fall. Here are some of those symptoms:

  • Loss of balance: How is your balance affected by hearing loss? Well, your inner ear is incredibly significant to your overall equilibrium. So when hearing loss affects your inner ear, you may find yourself a little more likely to get dizzy, experience vertigo, or have trouble keeping your balance. As a result of this, you may fall down more often.
  • Exhaustion: When you’re dealing with neglected hearing loss, your ears are continuously straining, and your brain is often working overtime. Your brain will be constantly tired as a result. An attentive brain will identify and steer clear of obstacles, which will decrease the likelihood of having a fall.
  • You have less situational awareness: When you have untreated hearing loss, you might not be as able to hear that oncoming vehicle, or the barking dog next to you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. In other words, your situational awareness might be substantially impacted. Can loss of hearing make you clumsy like this? Well, in a way yes, day-to-day tasks can become more dangerous if your situational awareness is compromised. And your chance of stumbling into something and having a fall will be a little higher.
  • Depression: Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation and depression (not to mention an increased danger of dementia). You are likely to be at home a lot more when you’re socially isolated, and tripping hazards will be all around without anybody to help you.
  • You can’t hear high-frequency sounds: You know how when you walk into an auditorium, you immediately detect that you’re in a huge 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 vehicle. That’s because your ears are using high-frequency sounds to help you “echolocate,” more or less. You will lose the ability to quickly make those judgment calls when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-pitched tones. This can lead to disorientation and loss of situational awareness.

Age is also a factor with regard to hearing loss-associated falls. You’re more likely to develop progressing and permanent hearing loss. At the same time, you’re more likely to take a tumble. As a result, when you get older, falls are more likely to have serious consequences.

How can the danger of falling be lowered by wearing hearing aids?

If hearing loss is part of the issue, it makes sense that hearing aids would be part of the remedy. And new research has borne that out. One recent study found that wearing hearing aids could cut your chance of a fall in half.

In the past, these figures (and the link between hearing aids and staying upright) were a bit fuzzier. That’s partially because individuals often fail to use their hearing aids. So it was inconclusive how frequently hearing aid users were having a fall. This was because individuals weren’t using their hearing aids, not because their hearing aids were malfunctioning.

But this new study took a different (and perhaps more accurate) approach. People who used their hearing aids often were classified into a different group than people who wore them intermittently.

So why does wearing your hearing aids help you prevent falls? They keep you less fatigued, more concentrated, and generally more alert. It also helps that you have increased situational awareness. In addition, many hearing aids come with safety features created to activate in the case of a fall. Help will come quicker this way.

Regularly using your hearing aids is the trick here.

Prevent falls with new hearing aids

You will be able to remain close to your family members if you wear hearing aids, not to mention catch up with friends.

They can also help you stay on your feet, literally!

Schedule an appointment with us today if you want to find out more about how your quality of life can be improved.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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