Having to visit the ER can be financially and personally costly. What if you could prevent ER trips and substantially decrease your risk of depression, anxiety, and even cognitive decline.
Surfacing studies make 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 evenings in the emergency room.
Participants from 65 to 85 participated in a University of Michigan study. Extreme hearing loss was a widespread problem between them. But out of all of those who participated, only 45% of them wore their hearing aids on a regular basis.
This is on par with similar studies which have shown that only around 30% of individuals who have hearing aids actually use them.
12 fewer, of the 585 individuals who did wear their hearing aid, had Er visits or unplanned hospitalizations.
This may not seem like a very large number. But statistically, this is substantial.
And that’s not all. They also discovered that those who used their hearing aids spend, on average, one day fewer in the hospital. They were more likely to show up for regular appointments with their doctors, which likely decreased their time in ER.
How Might Hearing Aids Decrease 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 away from ER.
Other research has shown that when individuals with hearing loss use their hearing aids, they stay more connected to friends, family, and the community. This can lead to both a greater drive to keep that doctor’s appointment and better access to services and support to get to appointments.
For those bringing themselves, it means that they will be able to drive more safely with less anxiety about what they can’t hear.
Additionally, a U.S. study revealed that people with hearing loss who don’t use their hearing aid are two times as likely to be depressed. Depression can bring about a lack of self-care, which can lead to health problems.
The third thing is, several studies have found that wearing your hearing aid can decrease the risk of falling and dementia. The region of the brain that’s responsible 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 as well as 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 reduce visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
So Why is Wearing Hearing Aids Something That so Many People Avoid?
It’s hard to come up with a legitimate excuse.
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 above the age of 75 have hearing loss and yet this notion of looking old with hearing aids persists. Hearing impairment isn’t rare. It happens to lots of people. And due to the increase in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is increasing with people in their twenties.
It’s ironic that when someone is constantly asking people what they said it actually makes them appear older.
Price is often mentioned as a concern. However, hearing aids have become more affordable in just the past few years, and there are financing options available.
Lastly, some don’t like 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 a number of tries.
Schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist so we can help you feel more comfortable wearing your hearing aids.