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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 reduce your chances of accidents, falls, depression, anxiety, and even dementia while also eliminating visits to the ER.

Surfacing research makes the case that, for those with serious hearing loss, using their hearing aid could be the difference between staying involved and healthy and ending up spending many evenings in the emergency room.

The Research

Participants from 65 to 85 participated in a University of Michigan study. Extreme hearing loss was a widespread condition between them. But out of all of those who participated, only 45% of them used their hearing aids regularly.

Other researchers have also shown that hearing aids were worn 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 may not seem like a very large number. But it’s statistically substantial.

And that’s not all. They also found that those who wore their hearing aids spend, on average, one day fewer in the hospital. They were more likely to show up for regular appointments with their doctors, which most likely reduced their time in ER.

How Can ER Visits be Decreased by Wearing Hearing Aids?

First for the obvious one. You would be less likely to require emergency care if you are paying attention to your health.

Other studies have shown that when people with hearing loss wear their hearing aids, they stay more connected to family, friends, and the community. When a person is socially connected they are normally more motivated to keep their appointments and also have more support from friends and family getting to the doctor.

And driving is safer when you can hear, so you will be more confident if you are bringing yourself to your appointment.

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. Health problems linked to lack of self care is commonly an outcome of depression.

The third thing is, numerous studies have found that wearing your hearing aid can decrease the risk of falling and cognitive decline. As a person starts to suffer from hearing impairment, the corresponding part of the brain begins to decline from lack of use. Over time, this can extend through the brain. As this happens, people commonly experience dementia symptoms and the disorientation and lack of balance associated with falls.

Long hospital stays often accompany falls and falling is a leading cause of senior death.

Hearing aids reduce visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.

Why do so Many Individuals Neglect Wearing Hearing Aids?

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

Some don’t wear them because they think that hearing aids make them look older than they actually are. 25% of individuals over 65 and 50% of people above the age of 75 have hearing loss and yet this notion of looking old with hearing aids persists. Hearing loss isn’t uncommon. It happens to lots of people. And thanks to the increase in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is on the rise among people in their twenties.

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

Some individuals reference the costs of hearing aids. However, the price of hearing aids has come down in just the past few years, and there are ways to finance them.

Finally, some don’t enjoy 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 multiple fittings before they are just right.

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

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