Oklahoma City, OK

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HEARING TIPS

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

Trips to the ER cause you to miss work, not to mention personal pain. What if you could lessen your risk of falls, accidents, depression, anxiety, and even dementia while also preventing visits to the ER.

Using your hearing aid can be the difference between living an engaged healthy life and taking lots of trips to the ER, according to some new studies.

The Research

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

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

!2 fewer, of the 585 individuals who did use 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 determined that those who wore their hearing aids spend, on average, one fewer day in the hospital. Their time at the ER was probably decreased because they were more likely to keep their regular doctor’s appointments.

How Might Hearing Aids Decrease The Need For Emergency Care Visits?

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

Other studies have shown that when individuals with hearing loss use their hearing aids, they stay more connected to family, friends, and the community. When a person is socially connected they are normally more committed to keeping 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.

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. Depression can lead to a lack of self-care, which can lead to health concerns.

The third thing is, various studies have shown that wearing your hearing aid can lessen the risk of falling and dementia. As a person starts to lose their hearing, the associated part of the brain begins to decline from disuse. The rest of the brain is ultimately impacted. As this happens, people often experience dementia symptoms as well as the disorientation and lack of balance connected with falls.

Falls are one of the major causes of death among those over 65, and the consequent hospitalizations last two times as long.

These are only a few of the reasons that hearing aids help decrease trips to the ER.

Why do so Many Individuals Avoid Wearing Hearing Aids?

It’s hard to come up with a legitimate excuse.

Fear of appearing old is one leading reason why some people don’t use their hearing aids. 25% of individuals over 65 and 50% of people over 75 have hearing loss and yet this perception of looking old with hearing aids remains. Hearing loss isn’t uncommon. It’s common. Additionally, hearing loss is increasing even with 20-year-olds because of earbuds and the increase in noise pollution.

It’s ironic that when someone is always asking people what they said it actually makes them appear older.

Some individuals reference the price of hearing aids. However, financing is available for hearing aids and costs have come down in the past 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 successfully use your hearing aid in various settings. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound perfect on the first fitting and sometimes require several tries.

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

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