Hearing Aids Can Minimize the Risk of Falling

Senior woman fell down and is sitting on carpet and touching forehead with hand

Kids have a tendency to fall on a daily basis. Wiping out on your bike? That’s normal. Getting tripped up while sprinting across the yard. Also pretty typical. It’s not really a concern because, well, kids are kind of limber. They rebound very easily.

The same cannot be said as you age. The older you get, the more worrisome a fall can become. One reason for this is that bones are more brittle and heal slower when you’re older. Older individuals tend to spend more time lying on the floor in pain because they have a more difficult time getting back up. Falling is the leading injury-related cause of death as a result.

That’s why tools and devices that can reduce falls are always being sought out by healthcare professionals. New research seems to suggest that we might have determined one such device: hearing aids.

Can falls be caused by hearing loss

If you want to know how hearing aids could possibly prevent a fall, you need to ask this relevant question: does hearing loss make you more likely to fall in the first place? In some situations, it appears that the answer is a strong affirmative.

So you have to ask yourself, why would the risk of falling be raised by hearing loss?

That association isn’t really that intuitive. After all, hearing loss does not directly influence your ability to move or see. But this kind of direct impact on your mobility, and an elevated risk of falling, can be a consequence of some hearing loss symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:

  • Loss of balance: How is your balance impacted by hearing loss? Well, your inner ear is very significant to your overall equilibrium. So you may find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss affects the inner ear. As a result of this, you could fall down more often.
  • You have less situational awareness: When you have untreated hearing loss, you may not be as able to hear that approaching vehicle, or the dog barking next to you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. In other words, your situational awareness might be significantly affected. Can you become clumsy like this due to hearing loss? Well, in a way yes, day-to-day activities can become more hazardous if your situational awareness is jeopardized. And your chance of stumbling into something and having a fall will be slightly higher.
  • Depression: Neglected hearing loss can lead to social solitude and depression (not to mention an increased danger of dementia). When you’re socially isolated, you might be more likely to spend time at home, where tripping hazards abound, and be less likely to have help nearby.
  • You can’t hear high-frequency sounds: When you go into an arena, you know how even if your eyes are closed, you can tell you’re in a large space? Or how you can instantly tell that you’re in a small space when you get into a vehicle. That’s because your ears are using high-frequency sounds to help you “echolocate,” more or less. You will lose the ability to rapidly make those judgment calls when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-frequency tones. This can result in disorientation and loss of situational awareness.
  • Exhaustion: When you have untreated hearing loss, your ears are always straining, and your brain is always working extra hard. This means your brain is tired more frequently than not. An alert brain will notice and avoid obstacles, which will reduce the risk of having a fall.

Age is also a consideration with regard to hearing loss-related falls. As you grow older, you’re more likely to experience permanent and advancing hearing loss. At the same time, you’re more likely to take a tumble. Consequently, when you get older, falls are more likely to have serious repercussions.

How can the risk of falling be reduced by using hearing aids?

If hearing loss is part of the issue, it makes sense that hearing aids would be part of the solution. And this is being validated by new research. One recent study found that wearing hearing aids could cut your risk of a fall in half.

The link between remaining on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this obvious. Partly, that’s because not everybody uses their hearing aids all of the time. As a result, falls among “hearing aid users” were often inconclusive. This was because individuals weren’t wearing their hearing aids, not because their hearing aids were broken.

The method of this study was carried out differently and perhaps more precisely. People who used their hearing aids now and then were separated from individuals who used them all of the time.

So why does wearing your hearing aids help you avoid falls? Generally speaking, they keep you more alert, more concentrated, and less tired. The increased situational awareness also helped. Additionally, many hearing aids have safety features designed to trigger in the case of a fall. Help will arrive faster this way.

Consistently wearing your hearing aids is the trick here.

Prevent falls with new hearing aids

Hearing aids can help you reunite with your friends, enjoy quality moments with your loved ones, and stay connected to everybody who’s important in your life.

They can also help prevent a fall!

Schedule an appointment with us right away if you want to learn more about how your quality of life can be enhanced.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.