Having to go to the ER can be personally and financially costly. What if you could lessen ER trips and substantially reduce your risk of depression, anxiety, and even cognitive decline.
Emerging studies make the case that, for those with serious 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.
Participants from 65 to 85 participated in a University of Michigan study. Severe hearing loss was a widespread condition between them. But only 45% of the participants used their hearing aids regularly.
This is on par with similar studies which have revealed that only about 30% of people who have hearing aids actually wear them.
12 fewer, of the 585 people who did wear their hearing aid, had Er visits or unplanned hospitalizations.
This may not seem like a very big number. But it’s statistically significant.
And there’s more. They also found that one day fewer, on average, was spent in the hospital for individuals who wore their hearing aids. They were more likely to show up for regular appointments with their doctors, which most likely decreased their time in ER.
How Can Hearing Aids Minimize The Need For Emergency Care Visits?
The first one is obvious. If an individual is staying on top of their health, they’re more likely to stay out of ER.
Other research has shown that when individuals with hearing loss wear their hearing aids, they stay more connected to friends, family, and the community. 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.
And driving is safer when you can hear, so you will have more confidence if you are bringing yourself to your appointment.
One study done in the U.S. discovered 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 problems.
The third thing is, several studies have revealed that using your hearing aid can reduce the risk of falling and dementia. As a person starts to lose their hearing, the corresponding part of the brain begins to decline from lack of use. The rest of the brain is ultimately affected. The disorientation related to falls and symptoms of dementia are commonly the result.
Falls are one of the leading causes of death among individuals over 65, and the consequent hospitalizations last two times as long.
Hearing aids decrease visits to the ER for these reasons amongst others.
Why do so Many People Neglect Wearing Hearing Aids?
There’s really no good reason.
Fear of looking old is one leading reason why some people don’t wear their hearing aids. 25% of people 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 impairment isn’t rare. It happens to many people. And due to the increase in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is increasing with people in their twenties.
Ironically, frequently asking people to repeat what they said often makes a person seem much older than they are.
Some people cite the costs of hearing aids. However, the price of hearing aids has come down in just the last 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 understand what settings work best in different situations. Hearing aids can require numerous fittings before they are just right.
Schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist so we can help you feel more secure wearing your hearing aids.