Having to go to the ER can be financially and personally costly. What if you could minimize your chances of accidents, falls, anxiety, depression, and even dementia while also preventing visits to the ER.
Emerging studies make the case that, for people with severe hearing loss, wearing their hearing aid could be the difference between staying involved and healthy and winding up spending many nights in the emergency room.
This University of Michigan study assembled participants which ranged from 65-85. Extreme hearing loss was a common condition between them. But out of all of those people who took part, only 45% of them used their hearing aids on a regular basis.
Other studies have also revealed that hearing aids were worn regularly by only 30% of individuals who had them.
Of the 585 individuals in the hearing aid group, 12 fewer people ended up in the ER or non-elective hospital stay.
This might not seem like a very big number. But it’s statistically significant.
And that’s not all. They also found that those who wore their hearing aids spend, on average, one fewer day in the hospital. Their time at the ER was probably reduced because they were more likely to show up for their regular doctor’s appointments.
How Can ER Visits be Reduced by Wearing Hearing Aids?
The first one is obvious. You wouldn’t be as likely to need emergency care if you are paying attention to your health.
Other studies have revealed that when individuals with hearing loss wear their hearing aids, they stay more connected to friends, family, and the community. This can lead to both a greater drive to show up for that doctor’s appointment and better access to services and help to get to appointments.
And driving is less dangerous when you can hear, so you will be more confident if you are getting yourself to your appointment.
One study carried out in the U.S. found that depression is two times 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 problems.
Risks of falling and dementia are, according to numerous studies, also decreased by wearing your hearing aids. As a person begins to lose their hearing, the associated part of the brain starts to decline from disuse. With time, this can extend through the brain. As this occurs, people often experience dementia symptoms as well as the disorientation and lack of balance connected with falls.
Falls are one of the major causes of death among people over 65, and the resulting hospital stays last twice as long.
These are only a few of the reasons that hearing aids help decrease trips to the ER.
So Why is Wearing Hearing Aids Something That so Many People Avoid?
There’s really no good reason.
Some people don’t use them because they think that hearing aids make them look older than they actually are. This perception remains despite the fact that about 25% of individuals over 65 have substantial hearing loss, and 50% of those 75 and above have it. Hearing loss isn’t uncommon. It’s common. Plus, hearing loss is increasing 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.
Some individuals cite the costs of hearing aids. However, financing is possible for hearing aids and prices have come down in the last few years.
Lastly, some don’t like the hearing experience with their hearing aid. In this case, your hearing specialist can help you recognize what settings work best in different situations. Hearing aids sometimes need multiple fittings before they are just right.
If something is stopping you from using your hearing aid, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist.