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 cognitive decline.
Emerging research makes the case that, for people with severe 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.
Participants between the ages of 65 and 85 participated in a University of Michigan study. Each had extreme loss of hearing. But out of all of those who participated, only 45% of them wore their hearing aids on a regular basis.
Other researchers have also demonstrated that hearing aids were worn regularly by only 30% of individuals who had them.
12 fewer, of the 585 individuals who did use their hearing aid, had Er visits or unplanned hospitalizations.
This may not seem like a very large number. But it’s statistically 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. Their time at the ER was probably decreased because they were more likely to show up for their regular doctor’s appointments.
How Can Hearing Aids Decrease The Need For Emergency Care Visits?
First for the obvious one. If a person is staying on top of their health, they’re more likely to stay out of ER.
Other research has revealed that when individuals with hearing loss wear their hearing aids, they stay more connected to friends, family, and the community. This can result in both a greater drive to keep that doctor’s appointment and better access to services and help to get to appointments.
For those driving themselves, it means that they can drive more safely with less anxiety about what they can’t hear.
One study done in the U.S. discovered that depression is twice as likely in people who don’t use their hearing aid. Depression can result in a lack of self-care, which can lead to health issues.
The third thing is, numerous studies have revealed that using your hearing aid can minimize fall risk and cognitive decline. The region of the brain that’s used for hearing will start to decline from lack of use as hearing declines. With time, this can extend through the brain. As this happens, people frequently experience dementia symptoms and the disorientation and lack of balance associated with falls.
Falls are one of the major causes of death among people over 65, and the resulting hospital stays last twice as long.
These are only a few of the reasons that hearing aids help decrease trips to the ER.
So Why is Wearing Hearing Aids Something That so Many Individuals Avoid?
There’s truly no good reason.
Fear of appearing old is one leading reason why some individuals don’t use 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’s common. Additionally, hearing loss is on the rise even among 20-year-olds thanks to earbuds and the rise in noise pollution.
Ironically, constantly asking people to repeat themselves often makes a person appear much older than they are.
Some individuals cite the costs of hearing aids. However, financing is possible for hearing aids and costs have come down in the last few years.
Lastly, some don’t enjoy the hearing experience with their hearing aid. This can often be corrected by simply working with your hearing specialist to learn how to more effectively use your hearing aid in different settings. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound perfect on the first fitting and sometimes need several attempts.
Make an appointment with your hearing specialist so we can help you feel more comfortable wearing your hearing aids.