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

Kids tend to fall pretty much every day. Taking a tumble on your bicycle? That’s typical. Getting tripped up while sprinting across the yard. Happens all of the time. It isn’t really a concern because, well, kids are pretty limber. They don’t typically stay down for very long.

The same cannot be said as you age. Falling becomes more and more of a worry as you get older. One reason for this is that bones break easier and heal slower when you’re older. Older people might have a harder time standing back up after falling, so they spend more time in pain lying on the floor. Consequently, falls are the number one injury-connected cause of death in individuals over 65.

It’s not 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 hearing loss lead to falls?

In order to determine why hearing aids can help avert falls, it helps to ask a relevant question: is it feasible that hearing loss can raise your risk of falling? It appears as though the answer might be, yes.

So the question is, why would the danger of falling be raised by hearing loss?

There’s not really an intuitive connection. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, impact your ability to move or see. But this sort of direct impact on your mobility, and an elevated risk of falling, can be a result of some hearing loss symptoms. Here are some of those symptoms:

  • Loss of balance: How does hearing loss effect your balance? Well, your overall balance depends heavily on your inner ear. So when hearing loss impacts your inner ear, you might find yourself a bit more likely to grow dizzy, experience vertigo, or have trouble keeping your balance. Because of this, you may fall down more frequently.
  • Exhaustion: Your brain is working overtime and you’re always straining when you have untreated hearing loss. Your brain will be constantly exhausted as a result. An exhausted brain is less likely to notice that obstacle in your path, and, as a consequence, you might end up tripping and falling over something that an attentive brain would have seen.
  • Your situational awareness is impaired: When you have neglected hearing loss, you might not be as able to hear that approaching vehicle, or the barking dog next to you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. Your situational awareness could be substantially impacted, in other words. Can you become clumsy in this way due to hearing loss? Well, in a way yes, daily tasks can become more hazardous if your situational awareness is jeopardized. And your chance of bumping into something and falling will be slightly higher.
  • You’re unable to hear high-frequency sounds: When you go into an arena, you know how even if you close your eyes, you can detect that you’re in a large space? Or when you get into a car and you instantly know you’re in a small space? That’s because your ears are utilizing high-pitched sounds to help you “echolocate,” more or less. You will lose the ability to rapidly make those judgment calls when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-frequency tones. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the consequences.
  • Depression: Untreated hearing loss can result in social isolation and depression (not to mention an increased danger of dementia). When you’re socially separated, you might be more likely to stay at home, where tripping hazards abound, and be less likely to have help nearby.

Age is also a factor with regard to hearing loss-related falls. You’re more likely to develop progressing and irreversible hearing loss. That will increase the probability of falling. And when you’re older, falling can have much more serious consequences.

How can hearing aids help minimize falls?

It makes sense that hearing aids would be part of the remedy when hearing loss is the issue. And new research has borne that out. Your danger of falling could be reduced by as much as 50% according to one study.

In the past, these numbers (and the link between hearing aids and remaining on your feet) were a little fuzzier. That’s to some extent because individuals often fail to use their hearing aids. As a result, falls among “hearing aid users” were often inconclusive. This was because individuals weren’t wearing their hearing aids, not because their hearing aids were broken.

The method of this research was conducted differently and maybe more accurately. Individuals who used their hearing aids now and then were separated from individuals who used them all of the time.

So how can you prevent falls by wearing hearing aids? They keep you less fatigued, more focused, and generally more alert. It also helps that you have added situational awareness. Additionally, many hearing aids include safety features designed to trigger in the case of a fall. This can mean you get assistance faster (this is critical for individuals older than 65).

But the trick here is to make sure you’re wearing your hearing aids frequently and consistently.

Prevent falls with new hearing aids

You will be able to stay close to your loved ones if you wear hearing aids, not to mention catch up with friends.

They can also help prevent a fall!

Schedule an appointment with us right away if you want to know more about how your quality of life can be improved.

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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.

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