Having to go to the ER can be personally and financially costly. What if you could minimize ER trips and dramatically reduce your risk of anxiety, depression, and even cognitive decline.
Emerging research makes the case that, for people with severe hearing loss, wearing their hearing aid could be the difference between staying connected and healthy and ending up spending many nights in the emergency room.
This University of Michigan study assembled participants that ranged from 65-85. Each had severe hearing loss. But only 45% of the participants wore their hearing aids on a regular basis.
Other researchers have also shown that hearing aids were worn regularly by only 30% of individuals who had them.
Of the 585 individuals in the group who did use their hearing aids, 12 fewer people found themselves in the ER or non-elective hospital stay.
This may seem like a small number. But statistically, this is substantial.
And there’s more. They also found that those who used their hearing aids spend, on average, one fewer day in the hospital. Their time at the ER was probably reduced because they were more likely to show up for their regular doctor’s appointments.
How Can ER Visits be Reduced by Using Hearing Aids?
First for the obvious one. You would be less likely to require emergency care if you are paying attention to your health.
Also, individuals who wear their hearing aids remain more socially involved. This can bring about both a stronger motivation to keep that doctor’s appointment and better access to services and support to get to appointments.
For those driving themselves, it means that they can drive more safely with less stress about what they can’t hear.
One study done in the U.S. revealed that depression is two times as likely in individuals who don’t wear their hearing aid. Depression can lead to a lack of self-care, which can lead to health concerns.
Thirdly, numerous studies have revealed that wearing your hearing aid can lessen fall risk and dementia. As a person starts to suffer from hearing impairment, the corresponding part of the brain begins to decline from disuse. With time, this can spread through the brain. The disorientation related to falls and symptoms of dementia are often the result.
Falls are one of the leading causes of death among individuals over 65, and the resulting hospital stays last twice as long.
Hearing aids reduce visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
Why do so Many People Avoid Wearing Hearing Aids?
There’s truly no good reason.
Some don’t use them because they think that hearing aids make them look older than they are. 25% of people over 65 and 50% of people over 75 have hearing loss and yet this notion of looking old with hearing aids persists. Hearing loss is not uncommon. It happens to lots of people. And thanks to the rise in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is increasing with people in their twenties.
It’s ironic that when someone is always asking people what they said it actually makes them look older.
Price is often mentioned as a worry. However, hearing aids have become more affordable in just the past few years, and there are financing options available.
Some people don’t like the way hearing aids sound. In this case, your hearing specialist can help you understand what settings work best in different circumstances. Hearing aids sometimes need multiple fittings before they are just right.
If something is stopping you from wearing your hearing aid, it’s time to make an appointment with your hearing specialist.