Having to go to the ER can be personally and financially costly. What if you could prevent ER visits and dramatically decrease your risk of anxiety, depression, and even dementia.
Emerging studies make the case that, for those 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.
This University of Michigan research gathered participants that ranged from 65-85. Serious hearing loss was a widespread condition between them. But only 45% of the participants used their hearing aids on a regular basis.
This is in agreement with similar studies which have found that only about 30% of individuals who have hearing aids actually wear them.
12 fewer, of the 585 individuals who did wear their hearing aid, had Er visits or unplanned hospitalizations.
This may seem like a moderate number. But it’s statistically substantial.
And that’s not all. They also discovered that those who used their hearing aids spend, on average, one fewer day in the hospital. Their time at the ER was probably reduced because they were more likely to show up for their regular doctor’s appointments.
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.
Also, individuals who wear their hearing aids stay more socially engaged. This can result in both a greater drive to show up for 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’re not hearing.
Additionally, a U.S. study found that individuals with hearing loss who don’t wear their hearing aid are two times as likely to be depressed. Health issues related to lack of self care is frequently an outcome of depression.
Thirdly, numerous studies have found that using your hearing aid can minimize the risk of falling and dementia. As a person starts to lose their hearing, the associated part of the brain starts to decline from lack of use. The rest of the brain is eventually affected. As this happens, people frequently experience dementia symptoms as well as 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 two times as long.
Hearing aids decrease visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
So Why is Wearing Hearing Aids Something That so Many People Avoid?
It’s difficult to come up with a legitimate excuse.
Fear of appearing old is one major reason why some people 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’s common. Additionally, hearing loss is increasing even with 20-year-olds thanks to earbuds and the increase in noise pollution.
It’s ironic that when someone is constantly asking people what they said it actually makes them seem older.
Price is often cited as a concern. However, financing is possible for hearing aids and costs have come down in the past few years.
Some individuals don’t like the way hearing aids sound. This can typically be corrected by simply consulting your hearing specialist to find out how to more effectively use your hearing aid in various settings. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound perfect on the first fitting and sometimes require a few tries.
If something is preventing you from using your hearing aid, it’s time to make an appointment with your hearing specialist.