Hearing Aids Can Minimize the Danger of Falling

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

When you’re a youngster, falling is just a part of life. Wiping out on your bike? That’s typical. Tripping over your own feet when you’re running outside? Happens every day. Kids are very limber so, no big deal. They don’t typically stay down for very long.

As you grow older though, that becomes less and less true. Falling becomes more and more of a worry as you get older. In part, that’s because your bones tend to break more easily (and heal more slowly). Older people tend to spend more time lying on the floor in pain because they have a harder time getting back up. Consequently, falls are the number one injury-connected cause of death in individuals over 65.

It isn’t surprising, then, that healthcare professionals are always on the lookout for tools and devices that can lessen falls. Hearing aids may be just such a device according to research.

Can falls be caused by hearing loss

In order to figure out why hearing aids can help prevent falls, it helps to ask a relevant question: is it possible that hearing loss can raise your chance of having a fall? It appears as if the answer may be, yes.

So the question is, why would the risk of falling be increased by hearing loss?

That connection isn’t exactly intuitive. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, affect your ability to see or move. But this type of direct impact on your mobility, and an elevated danger of falling, can be a result of some hearing loss symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:

  • High-pitched sounds get lost: When you go into a stadium, you know how even if your eyes are closed, you can tell you’re in a large space? Or when you jump into a car and you immediately know you’re in a small space? Your ears are actually utilizing something similar to “echolocation” and high-frequency sound to assist your spatial awareness. When you can no longer hear high-frequency sounds due to hearing loss, you can’t make those judgments quite as rapidly or intuitively. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the consequences.
  • Depression: Social isolation and maybe even cognitive decline can be the result of untreated hearing loss. You are likely to be at home a lot more when you’re socially separated, and tripping dangers will be all around without anyone to help you.
  • Your situational awareness is impaired: You may not be able to hear the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps, the dog barking next door, or an approaching vehicle when you have untreated hearing loss. In other words, your situational awareness may be substantially affected. Can hearing loss 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 bumping into something and having a fall will be a little higher.
  • Exhaustion: Your brain is working extra hard and you’re always straining when you have neglected hearing loss. Your brain will be constantly tired as a consequence. An attentive brain will identify and avoid obstacles, which will decrease the chance of having a fall.
  • Loss of balance: How does hearing loss effect your balance? Well, your inner ear is very significant to your overall equilibrium. So you may find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss affects your inner ear. Because of this, you may fall down more frequently.

Age is also a factor when it comes to hearing loss-related falls. You’re more likely to experience progressing and irreversible hearing loss. That will raise the chance of falling. And when you’re older, falling can have much more severe consequences.

How can hearing aids help minimize falls?

If hearing loss is part of the issue, it makes sense that hearing aids should be part of the solution. And this is being confirmed by new research. Your danger of falling could be lowered by up to 50% based on one study.

In the past, these figures (and the link between hearing aids and remaining upright) were a little bit fuzzier. That’s partly because people frequently fail to use their hearing aids. So it was inconclusive how frequently hearing aid users were having a fall. This wasn’t because the hearing aids were malfunctioning, it was because people weren’t wearing them.

The method of this study was carried out differently and maybe more effectively. Individuals who used their hearing aids now and then were separated from individuals who wore them all of the time.

So why does wearing your hearing aids help you prevent falls? In general, they keep you more vigilant, more concentrated, and less tired. The added situational awareness also helped. Many hearing aids also come with a feature that can notify the authorities and family members in case of a fall. This can mean you get help faster (this is crucial for individuals 65 or older).

Regularly wearing your hearing aids is the trick here.

Invest in your fall prevention devices today

Hearing aids can help you reunite with your friends, enjoy quality moments with your loved ones, and stay in touch with everyone who’s significant in your life.

They can also help prevent a fall!

If you want to find out more about how hearing aids could help you, schedule an appointment with us right away.

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.