Audio Life Hearing Center- Knoxville, TN

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

When you’re a kid, falling is just a part of life. Wiping out on your bike? That’s normal. Getting tripped up when sprinting across the yard. Also fairly typical. It’s not really a concern because, well, kids are pretty limber. They don’t usually stay down for long.

The same cannot be said as you get older. The older you get, the more concerning a fall can become. In part, that’s because your bones generally break more easily (and heal more slowly). Older people may have a more difficult time getting up after falling, so they spend more time in pain lying on the floor. Falling is the leading injury-related cause of death as a result.

That’s why tools and devices that can minimize falls are always being sought out by healthcare professionals. Hearing aids could be just such a device according to research.

Can falls be caused by hearing loss

If you want to know how hearing aids could possibly prevent a fall, you need to ask this relevant question: is it possible that hearing loss can raise your chance of falling? It looks as though the answer may be, yes.

So why does hearing loss increase the danger of a fall for people?

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

  • Depression: Social solitude and maybe even mental decline can be the result of neglected hearing loss. You are likely to stay home a lot more when you’re socially separated, and tripping dangers will be all around without anybody to help you.
  • Loss of balance: How can hearing loss effect your balance? Well, your inner ear is very significant to your overall equilibrium. So when hearing loss affects your inner ear, you may find yourself a little more likely to get dizzy, experience vertigo, or have difficulty keeping your balance. As a result of this, you could fall down more often.
  • You have less situational awareness: You might not be capable of hearing the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps, the barking dog next door, or an approaching vehicle when you have neglected hearing loss. In other words, your situational awareness might be substantially affected. Can loss of hearing make you clumsy like this? Well, sort of, loss of situational awareness can make day-to-day tasks a little more dangerous. And that means you could be a little bit more likely to unintentionally stumble into something, and have a fall.
  • Exhaustion: When you have neglected hearing loss, your ears are always straining, and your brain is often working extra hard. Your brain will be constantly exhausted as a result. An alert brain will identify and steer clear of obstacles, which will reduce the risk of having a fall.
  • High-frequency sounds get lost: You know how when you walk into an auditorium, you immediately know that you’re in a spacious venue, even if your eyes are closed? Or how you can instantly tell that you’re in a small space when you get into a vehicle. That’s because your ears are using high-frequency sounds to help you “echolocate,” more or less. When you’re unable to hear high-frequency sounds due to hearing loss, you can’t make those assessments quite as quickly or easily. This can cause disorientation and loss of situational awareness.

Age is also a factor with regard to hearing loss-related falls. As you age, you’re more likely to develop permanent and progressive hearing loss. At the same time, you’re more likely to take a tumble. And when you’re older, falling can have much more severe consequences.

How can the risk of falling be decreased by wearing hearing aids?

If hearing loss is part of the issue, it makes sense that hearing aids would be part of the remedy. And this is being validated by new research. One recent study revealed that wearing hearing aids could cut your chance of a fall in half.

In the past, these numbers (and the connection between hearing aids and remaining on your feet) were a little bit less clear. That’s to some extent because individuals often fail to wear 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 study was carried out differently and maybe more accurately. Individuals who wore their hearing aids often were put in a different group than people who used them occasionally.

So how can you avoid falls by using hearing aids? They keep you less exhausted, more concentrated, and generally more vigilant. The added situational awareness also helped. Many hearing aids also include a feature that can alert the authorities and family members if a fall happens. This can mean you get help quicker (this is crucial for people 65 or older).

But the trick here is to be certain you’re wearing your hearing aids often and consistently.

Prevent falls with new hearing aids

You will be able to remain close to your loved ones if you wear 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, schedule an appointment with us right away.

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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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