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

When you’re a youngster, falling is just a part of life. Wiping out on your bike? Not unusual. Getting tripped up when sprinting across the yard. Also pretty normal. Kids are quite limber so, no big deal. They don’t usually stay down for long.

As you get older though, that becomes less and less true. Falling becomes more and more of a concern as you age. To some extent, that’s because your bones generally break more easily (and heal more slowly). Older people tend to spend more time on the floor in pain because they have a harder time getting back up. Falling is the leading injury-associated cause of death as a result.

That’s why tools and devices that can decrease falls are always being sought out by healthcare professionals. Hearing aids may be just such a device according to research.

Can hearing loss lead to falls?

If you want to understand how hearing aids could potentially prevent a fall, you need to ask this relevant question: does hearing loss make you more likely to fall to begin with? In some instances, it seems that the answer is a strong yes.

So why does hearing loss increase the danger of a fall for people?

There’s not exactly an intuitive association. After all, hearing loss doesn’t directly impact your ability to move or see. But it turns out there are certain symptoms of hearing loss that do have this type of direct impact on your ability to move around, and these symptoms can lead to an increased risk of having a fall. Some of those symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion: When you have untreated hearing loss, your ears are constantly straining, and your brain is always working extra hard. Your brain will be constantly exhausted as a result. A weary brain is less likely to notice that obstacle in your path, and, as a result, you may wind up tripping and falling over something that an attentive brain would have noticed.
  • Loss of balance: How is your balance affected by hearing loss? Well, your overall balance depends greatly on your inner ear. So when hearing loss impacts your inner ear, you may find yourself a little more likely to get dizzy, experience vertigo, or have trouble keeping your balance. Because of this, you could fall down more often.
  • You can’t hear high-frequency sounds: You know how when you go into a concert hall, you instantly detect that you’re in a large venue, even if you close your eyes? Or when you jump into a car and you immediately know you’re in a small space? Your ears are actually utilizing something similar to “echolocation” and high-frequency sound to help your spatial awareness. You will lose the ability to rapidly make those judgment calls when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-frequency tones. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the consequences.
  • Depression: Social solitude and possibly even mental decline can be the result of neglected hearing loss. You are likely to stay home a lot more when you’re socially isolated, and tripping dangers will be all around without anybody to help you.
  • Your situational awareness is impaired: You may not be capable of hearing the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps, the dog barking next door, or an approaching vehicle when you have untreated hearing loss. In other words, your situational awareness might be substantially impacted. Can you become clumsy in this way because of hearing loss? Well, kind of, loss of situational awareness can make daily tasks slightly more hazardous. And your risk of stumbling into something and having a fall will be a little higher.

Age is also a factor with regard to hearing loss-associated falls. You’re more likely to experience progressing and permanent hearing loss. That will raise the probability of falling. Consequently, when you get older, falls are more likely to have severe repercussions.

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

It seems logical that hearing aids would be part of the solution when hearing loss is the problem. And new research has confirmed that. Your danger of falling could be decreased by as much as 50% based on one study.

In the past, these figures (and the relationship between hearing aids and staying upright) were a little bit fuzzier. In part, that’s because not everybody wears their hearing aids all of the time. So it was inconclusive how frequently hearing aid users were falling. This was because individuals weren’t using their hearing aids, not because their hearing aids were broken.

But this new research took a different (and maybe more accurate) approach. Individuals who used their hearing aids frequently were put in a different group than those who used them occasionally.

So how can you avoid falls by wearing hearing aids? In general, they keep you more vigilant, more focused, and less exhausted. The added situational awareness also helped. In addition, many hearing aids have safety features created to activate in the case of a fall. This can mean you get assistance quicker (this is essential for individuals 65 or older).

Regularly using your hearing aids is the key here.

Get your fall prevention devices today

Hearing aids can help you reunite with your friends, enjoy quality time with your family members, and remain connected to everyone who’s important in your life.

They can also help prevent a fall!

If you want to know more about how hearing aids could help you, schedule an appointment with us right away.

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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.
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