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

Having to go to the ER can be personally and financially costly. What if you could lessen ER trips and substantially reduce your risk of depression, anxiety, and even cognitive decline.

Emerging research makes the case that, for individuals with serious 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.

The Research

This University of Michigan study 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.

Other researchers have also demonstrated that hearing aids were worn regularly by only 30% of people who had them.

Of the 585 individuals in the group who did use their hearing aids, 12 fewer people found themselves in the ER or non-elective hospital stay.

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

And that’s not all. They also found that one day fewer, on average, was spent in the hospital for people who wore their hearing aids. They were more likely to keep regular appointments with their doctors, which probably decreased their time in ER.

How Can ER Visits be Decreased by Wearing Hearing Aids?

The first one is obvious. You would be less likely to need emergency care if you were paying attention to your health.

Also, individuals who use their hearing aids stay more socially engaged. When a person is socially connected they are normally more committed to keeping keep their appointments and also have more support from friends and family getting to the doctor.

For those driving themselves, it means that they will be able to drive more safely with less stress about what they can’t hear.

One study done in the U.S. revealed that depression is twice as likely in individuals who don’t wear their hearing aid. Health problems related to lack of self care is often an outcome of depression.

Thirdly, various studies have shown that wearing your hearing aid can lessen fall risk and dementia. As a person begins to lose their hearing, 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 commonly the outcome.

Falls are one of the leading causes of death among individuals over 65, and the consequent hospitalizations last twice as long.

These are just a few of the reasons that hearing aids help decrease ER visits.

So Why is Wearing Hearing Aids Something That so Many Individuals Neglect?

There’s truly no good reason.

Some don’t use them because they think that hearing aids make them seem older than they are. This notion remains despite the fact that about 25% of people over 65 have substantial hearing loss, and 50% of those 75 and older have it. Hearing loss isn’t unusual. It’s common. Additionally, hearing loss is on the rise even among 20-year-olds thanks to earbuds and the increase in noise pollution.

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

Some individuals cite the price of hearing aids. However, financing is available for hearing aids and prices have come down in the last few years.

Finally, some don’t like the hearing experience with their hearing aid. This can normally be fixed 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 optimal on the first fitting and sometimes need a few attempts.

If something is stopping you from using your hearing aid, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist.

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