Having to visit the ER can be personally and financially costly. What if you could reduce your risk of accidents, falls, depression, anxiety, and even dementia while also eliminating trips to the ER.
Emerging studies make the case that, for those with serious hearing loss, wearing 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 which ranged from 65-85. Each had extreme hearing loss. But only 45% of the participants wore their hearing aids regularly.
This is on par with comparable studies which have found that only about 30% of people who have hearing aids actually use them.
12 fewer, of the 585 people who did wear their hearing aid, had Er visits or unplanned hospitalizations.
This may not seem like a very big number. But statistically, this is significant.
And there’s more. They also determined that those who used 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 keep their regular doctor’s appointments.
How Can ER Visits be Reduced by Using Hearing Aids?
The first one is obvious. If an individual is staying on top of their health, they’re more likely to stay away from ER.
Other research has shown that when people with hearing loss use their hearing aids, they stay more connected to friends, family, and the community. When a person is socially involved they are usually more motivated to keep their appointments and also have more help from friends and family getting to the doctor.
And driving is less dangerous when you can hear, so you will have more confidence if you are bringing yourself to your appointment.
One study done in the U.S. found that depression is two times as likely in individuals who don’t use their hearing aid. Health issues related to lack of self care is frequently an outcome of depression.
Thirdly, several studies have revealed that wearing your hearing aid can lessen fall risk and cognitive decline. As a person begins to suffer from hearing impairment, the corresponding region of the brain begins to decline from disuse. Over time, this can extend through the brain. The disorientation related to falls and symptoms of dementia are often the outcome.
Long hospital stays often accompany falls and falling is a leading cause of senior death.
Hearing aids reduce visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
So Why is Wearing Hearing Aids Something That so Many People Neglect?
It’s hard to come up with a valid excuse.
Fear of appearing old is one leading reason why some people don’t use their hearing aids. This notion remains despite the fact that nearly 25% of people over 65 have significant hearing loss, and 50% of those 75 and older have it. Hearing loss isn’t unusual. It’s common. Plus, hearing loss is increasing even with 20-year-olds because of earbuds and the increase in noise pollution.
Ironically, continuously asking people to repeat what they said often makes a person seem a lot older than they are.
Some individuals reference the price of hearing aids. However, the price of hearing aids has come down in just the last few years, and there are ways to finance them.
Finally, some don’t like the hearing experience with their hearing aid. This can often be fixed by simply working with your hearing specialist to find out how to more successfully use your hearing aid in various settings. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound perfect on the first fitting and sometimes require a few tries.
If something is preventing you from wearing your hearing aid, it’s time to make an appointment with your hearing specialist.