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 preventing trips to the ER.
Emerging research makes the case that, for those with serious hearing loss, wearing their hearing aid could be the difference between staying connected and healthy and ending up spending many nights in the emergency room.
This University of Michigan research assembled participants that ranged from 65-85. Severe hearing loss was a widespread condition between them. 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 individuals who had them.
Of the 585 people 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 one day fewer, on average, was spent in the hospital for those who wore their hearing aids. 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 Decreased by Using Hearing Aids?
The first one is obvious. If a person is keeping up with their health, they’re more likely to stay away from ER.
Also, individuals who wear their hearing aids remain more socially involved. This can result in both a greater motivation to show up for that doctor’s appointment and better access to services and support to get to appointments.
For those bringing themselves, it means that they will be able to drive more safely with less anxiety about what they can’t hear.
Additionally, a U.S. study found that people with hearing loss who don’t use their hearing aid are two times as likely to be depressed. Depression can lead to a lack of self-care, which can lead to health problems.
The danger of falling and dementia are, as outlined by numerous studies, also decreased by using your hearing aids. The part of the brain that’s responsible for hearing will start to decline from lack of use as hearing declines. Over time, this can spread through the brain. The disorientation related to falls and symptoms of dementia are frequently the outcome.
Long hospital stays frequently accompany falls and falling is a leading cause of senior death.
Hearing aids minimize visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
Why do so Many Individuals Neglect Wearing Hearing Aids?
It’s hard to come up with a legitimate excuse.
Fear of looking old is one leading reason why some individuals don’t wear their hearing aids. 25% of individuals over 65 and 50% of people over 75 have hearing loss and yet this notion of looking old with hearing aids persists. Hearing impairment isn’t rare. It happens to lots of people. And thanks to the rise in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is on the rise among people in their twenties.
Ironically, constantly asking people to repeat themselves often makes a person appear a lot older than they are.
Some people cite the price of hearing aids. However, financing is available for hearing aids and prices have come down in the last few years.
Finally, 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 circumstances. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound optimal on the first fitting and sometimes need several tries.
If something is stopping you from wearing your hearing aid, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist.