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

Trips to the ER can cost you time off work, and also personal pain. What if you could minimize ER trips and significantly decrease your risk of depression, anxiety, and even cognitive decline.

Wearing your hearing aid can be the difference between living an active healthy life and taking many trips to the ER, according to some new studies.

The Research

This University of Michigan research assembled participants that ranged from 65-85. Each had extreme loss of hearing. But out of all of those people who participated, only 45% of them wore their hearing aids on a regular basis.

This is on par with similar studies which have found that only about 30% of people who have hearing aids actually wear them.

Of the 585 individuals in the hearing aid group, 12 fewer people found themselves in the ER or non-elective hospital stay.

This may not seem like a very big number. But it’s statistically significant.

And there’s more. They also found that one day fewer, on average, was spent in the hospital for those who wore their hearing aids. They were more likely to keep regular appointments with their doctors, which likely decreased their time in ER.

How Can Emergency Care Visits be Decreased by Wearing Hearing Aids?

First for the obvious one. If a person is staying on top of their health, they’re more likely to stay away from 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 stronger motivation to show up for 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 bringing yourself to your appointment.

Additionally, a U.S. study revealed that people with hearing loss who don’t wear their hearing aid are twice as likely to be depressed. Health issues linked to lack of self care is frequently an outcome of depression.

Thirdly, several studies have shown that using your hearing aid can reduce the risk of falling and cognitive decline. As a person begins to suffer from hearing impairment, the corresponding part of the brain starts to decline from disuse. With time, this can spread through the brain. The disorientation associated with falls and symptoms of dementia are often the result.

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

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

Why do so Many People Avoid Wearing Hearing Aids?

There’s really no good reason.

Fear of appearing old is one leading reason why some individuals don’t wear their hearing aids. 25% of people over 65 and 50% of people above the age of 75 have hearing loss and yet this perception of looking old with hearing aids persists. Hearing loss isn’t uncommon. It happens to many people. Plus, hearing loss is on the rise even with 20-year-olds because of earbuds and the rise in noise pollution.

Ironically, frequently asking people to repeat themselves often makes a person seem a lot older than they are.

Price is frequently noted as a concern. However, the price of hearing aids has come down in just the last few years, and there are financing options available.

Some people don’t like the way hearing aids sound. This can normally be corrected by simply working with your hearing specialist to learn how to more effectively use your hearing aid in various settings. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound optimal on the first fitting and sometimes require several tries.

If something is preventing you from wearing your hearing aid, it’s time to make an appointment with your hearing specialist.

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