Untreated hearing loss leads to increased visits to the emergency room.

Having to go to the ER cause you to miss work, not to mention personal pain. What if you could lessen ER trips and significantly reduce your chances of anxiety, depression, and even cognitive decline.

Surfacing research makes the case that, for people with serious hearing loss, using their hearing aid could be the difference between staying connected and healthy and ending up spending many nights 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 only 45% of the participants wore their hearing aids on a regular basis.

This is in agreement with comparable studies which have found that only about 30% of individuals who have hearing aids actually wear 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 big number. But it’s statistically significant.

And there’s more. They also found that those who wore their hearing aids spend, on average, one day fewer in the hospital. They were more likely to keep regular appointments with their doctors, which probably reduced their time in ER.

How Can ER Visits be Decreased by Wearing Hearing Aids?

The first one is obvious. You wouldn’t be as likely to need emergency care if you were keeping up on 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 involved they are usually more committed to keeping 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 have more confidence if you are bringing yourself to your appointment.

One study carried out in the U.S. revealed that depression is two times as likely in individuals who don’t use their hearing aid. Health issues linked to lack of self care is commonly an outcome of depression.

The danger of falling and dementia are, according to numerous studies, also reduced by wearing your hearing aids. The part of the brain that’s responsible for hearing will start to decline from lack of use as hearing declines. With time, this can spread through the brain. As this occurs, people often experience dementia symptoms and the disorientation and lack of balance connected with falls.

Long hospital stays frequently accompany falls and falling is a major cause of senior death.

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

Why do so Many People Neglect Wearing Hearing Aids?

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

Fear of looking old is one leading reason why some people don’t use their hearing aids. 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 impairment isn’t rare. It’s common. And thanks to the increase in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is increasing among people in their twenties.

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

Some people cite the price of hearing aids. However, hearing aids have become more affordable in just the last few years, and there are financing options available.

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 circumstances. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound perfect on the first fitting and sometimes require a number of tries.

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

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