Untreated hearing loss leads to increased visits to the emergency room.

Having to go to the ER can be financially and personally costly. What if you could lessen ER visits and significantly reduce your risk of depression, anxiety, and even dementia.

Wearing your hearing aid can be the difference between having an active healthy life and taking lots of trips to the ER, according to some new research.

The Research

Participants from 65 to 85 participated in a University of Michigan study. Each had severe loss of hearing. But out of all of those people who took part, only 45% of them used their hearing aids on a regular basis.

This is in agreement with similar studies which have shown that only around 30% of people who have hearing aids actually wear them.

Of the 585 people in the group who did use their hearing aids, 12 fewer people ended up in the ER or non-elective hospital stay.

This might not seem like a very large number. But statistically, this is substantial.

And that’s not all. They also discovered that one day fewer, on average, was spent in the hospital for people who wore their hearing aids. They were more likely to keep regular appointments with their doctors, which most likely decreased their time in ER.

How Might Hearing Aids Reduce The Need For Emergency Care Visits?

The first one is obvious. If an individual is keeping up with their health, they’re more likely to stay out of ER.

Other studies have revealed that when individuals with hearing loss wear their hearing aids, they stay more connected to family, friends, and the community. This can bring about both a greater drive to keep that doctor’s appointment and better access to services and assistance to get to appointments.

And driving is less dangerous when you can hear, so you will have more confidence if you are getting yourself to your appointment.

One study done in the U.S. found that depression is twice as likely in people who don’t use their hearing aid. Health issues related to lack of self care is often an outcome of depression.

The third thing is, numerous studies have shown that wearing your hearing aid can lessen the risk of falling and dementia. The region of the brain that’s used for hearing will begin to decline from lack of use as hearing declines. With time, this can extend through the brain. As this happens, people often experience dementia symptoms and the disorientation and lack of balance associated with falls.

Long hospital stays frequently accompany falls and falling is a leading cause of senior death.

Hearing aids decrease visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.

Why do so Many People Avoid Wearing Hearing Aids?

There’s truly no good reason.

Some people don’t use them because they think that hearing aids make them appear older than they actually are. This perception persists despite the fact that nearly 25% of individuals over 65 have significant hearing loss, and 50% of those 75 and above have it. Hearing loss isn’t uncommon. It’s common. Plus, hearing loss is increasing even with 20-year-olds thanks to earbuds and the rise in noise pollution.

It’s ironic that when someone is always asking people what they said it actually makes them appear older.

Some individuals cite the costs of hearing aids. However, financing is possible for hearing aids and prices have come down in the last few years.

Lastly, some don’t like the hearing experience with their hearing aid. If this is a problem for you, your hearing specialist can help you understand what settings work best in different situations. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound optimal on the first fitting and sometimes need several attempts.

If something is stopping you from using your hearing aid, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist.

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