Having to go to the ER can cost you time off work, and also personal pain. What if you could minimize ER trips and substantially decrease your chances of anxiety, depression, and even cognitive decline.
Emerging research makes the case that, for individuals with severe hearing loss, using their hearing aid could be the difference between staying involved and healthy and winding up spending many evenings in the emergency room.
Participants from 65 to 85 participated in a University of Michigan study. Each had severe hearing loss. But out of all of those people who participated, only 45% of them used their hearing aids regularly.
Other researchers have also revealed that hearing aids were worn regularly by only 30% of people who had them.
!2 fewer, of the 585 individuals who did wear their hearing aid, had Er visits or unplanned hospitalizations.
This might not seem like a very big number. But it’s statistically significant.
And there’s more. They also found that those who wore their hearing aids spend, on average, one fewer day in the hospital. They were more likely to show up for 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. You would be less likely to need emergency care if you were paying attention to your health.
Other research has shown that when individuals with hearing loss wear their hearing aids, they stay more connected to family, friends, and the community. When a person is socially involved they are normally more motivated to keep their appointments and also have more help from friends and family getting to the doctor.
For those bringing themselves, it means that they will be able to drive more safely with less anxiety about what they can’t hear.
In addition, a U.S. study found that people with hearing loss who don’t use their hearing aid are two times as likely to be depressed. Health concerns linked to lack of self care is commonly an outcome of depression.
The third thing is, various studies have found that using your hearing aid can lessen the risk of falling and cognitive decline. The part of the brain that’s responsible for hearing will begin to decline from lack of use as hearing declines. The rest of the brain is ultimately impacted. As this occurs, people often experience dementia symptoms and the disorientation and lack of balance connected with falls.
Long hospital stays often accompany falls and falling is a major cause of senior death.
Hearing aids decrease visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
Why do so Many People Avoid Wearing Hearing Aids?
It’s hard to come up with a valid excuse.
Some don’t wear them because they think that hearing aids make them seem older than they actually are. 25% of individuals over 65 and 50% of people over 75 have hearing loss and yet this notion of looking old with hearing aids remains. Hearing loss isn’t uncommon. It’s common. And due to the rise in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is on the rise with people in their twenties.
It’s ironic that when someone is always asking people what they said it actually makes them appear older.
Cost is frequently noted as a worry. However, financing is available for hearing aids and costs have come down in the past few years.
Lastly, some don’t like the hearing experience with their hearing aid. If this is a problem for you, your hearing specialist can help you recognize what settings work best in different situations. Hearing aids sometimes need several fittings before they are just right.
If something is stopping you from wearing your hearing aid, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist.