Kids tend to fall pretty much every day. Taking a tumble on your bicycle? Not unusual. Getting tripped up while running across the yard. Also rather normal. Kids are pretty limber so, no big deal. They bounce back quite easily.
As you get older though, that becomes less and less true. The older you get, the more concerning a fall can become. One reason for this is that bones break easier and heal slower when you’re older. Older individuals tend to spend more time on the floor in pain because they have a harder time getting back up. Because of this, falls are the number one injury-connected cause of death in individuals older than 65.
That’s why tools and devices that can minimize falls are always being sought after by healthcare professionals. New research appears to indicate that we might have discovered one such device: hearing aids.
Can falls be caused by hearing loss
In order to determine why hearing aids can help prevent falls, it helps to ask a relevant question: is it feasible that hearing loss can increase your chance of falling? It looks as if the answer may be, yes.
So you have to ask yourself, why would the danger of falling be raised by hearing loss?
There isn’t really an intuitive connection. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, affect your ability to move or see. But this sort of direct impact on your mobility, and an increased risk of falling, can be a consequence of some hearing loss symptoms. Here are some of those symptoms:
- Exhaustion: Your brain is working overtime and you’re always straining when you have untreated hearing loss. Your brain will be continuously tired as a result. A tired brain is less likely to see that obstacle in your path, and, as a result, you might end up tripping and falling over something that an alert brain would have noticed.
- Depression: Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation and depression (and also an increased danger of dementia). When you’re socially separated, you might be more likely to stay at home, where tripping dangers abound, and be less likely to have help close at hand.
- You can’t hear high-frequency sounds: You know how when you walk into an auditorium, you instantly know that you’re in a large 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. Your ears are actually utilizing something like “echolocation” and high-frequency sound to assist your spatial awareness. You will lose the ability to rapidly make those assessments when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-pitched tones. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the result.
- You have less situational awareness: You might not be able to hear the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps, the dog barking next door, or an approaching vehicle when you have neglected hearing loss. In other words, your situational awareness may be substantially impacted. Can you become clumsy in this way due to hearing loss? Well, sort of, loss of situational awareness can make daily activities a little more dangerous. And that means you could be a little bit more likely to accidentally bump into something, and take a tumble.
- Loss of balance: How can hearing loss effect your balance? Well, your general balance depends heavily on your inner ear. So you may find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss affects the inner ear. In other words, you have a tendency to fall more frequently.
Part of the link between hearing loss and falling is also in your age. As you grow older, you’re more likely to experience permanent and advancing hearing loss. At the same time, you’re more likely to have a fall. Consequently, when you get older, falls are more likely to have severe repercussions.
How can the risk of falling be reduced by wearing hearing aids?
If hearing loss is part of the issue, it makes sense that hearing aids should be part of the solution. And this is being validated by new research. Your danger of falling could be lowered by as much as 50% based on one study.
The connection between staying on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this obvious. Partly, that’s because not everybody wears their hearing aids all of the time. As a result, falls among “hearing aid users” were frequently inconclusive. This wasn’t because the hearing aids weren’t working, it was because individuals weren’t using them.
The method of this research was conducted differently and maybe more effectively. People who wore their hearing aids now and then were separated from individuals who used them all of the time.
So how can you avoid falls by wearing hearing aids? They keep you less exhausted, more focused, and generally more alert. The increased situational awareness also helped. In addition, many hearing aids come with safety features designed to activate in the case of a fall. This can mean you get help faster (this is critical for people 65 or older).
Regularly using your hearing aids is the trick here.
Get your fall prevention devices today
You will be able to stay close to your family members if you use hearing aids, not to mention catch up with friends.
They can also help you remain on your feet, literally!
If you want to know more about how hearing aids could help you, make an appointment with us right away.