Hearing aids may reduce risk of falling.

Hearing loss and falls

If your hearing is starting to diminish, you may want to add preventing falls to the list of reasons to consider getting a hearing aid. New research from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has found that even mild hearing loss can double a person’s risk of falling, which in turn can be a leading factor in deaths among older adults.

Hearing loss affects balance

Yes, hearing loss can affect a person’s ability to maintain balance and coordination. The inner ear, which is responsible for both hearing and balance, plays a crucial role in the body’s sense of equilibrium. When there is a problem with the inner ear, such as hearing loss, it can disrupt the body’s ability to maintain balance and coordination, leading to an increased risk of falls and other issues related to balance. Additionally, the brain relies on signals from the inner ear to coordinate movements, so hearing loss can also impact overall coordination and motor skills.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society revealed that older adults with hearing loss are nearly 2 1/2 times as likely to experience a fall compared to those with good hearing.

Can hearing aids prevent falls?

However, the study also found that individuals who used hearing aids had significantly lower odds of experiencing a fall in comparison to those who did not address their hearing loss. In fact, those who consistently wore hearing aids for at least four hours per day had up to 65% lower odds of falling, indicating a potential dose-response relationship.

These findings prompt the need for further research to understand the connection between hearing loss and falls, as well as why hearing aids have such a substantial impact on reducing the risk of falls. Additional studies have already suggested that addressing hearing problems can have wide-ranging health benefits beyond just improved hearing.

Other benefits of hearing aids.

Hearing aids have several other benefits in addition to aiding with hearing loss. Some of these benefits include:

Improved communication: Hearing aids can help individuals better understand and engage in conversations, leading to improved communication with family, friends, and colleagues.

Better cognitive function: Research has shown that treating hearing loss with hearing aids can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, as it keeps the brain active and engaged with sound.

Emotional well-being: Hearing aids can improve an individual’s overall quality of life by reducing feelings of social isolation, anxiety, and depression often associated with hearing loss.

Safety: Hearing aids can provide warning signals for important sounds, such as sirens, alarms, and other emergency noises, which can help improve overall safety.

Improved relationships: Better hearing through hearing aids can lead to stronger connections with loved ones and improved social interactions.

Increased independence: By improving communication and safety, hearing aids can help individuals maintain their independence and be more active in their daily lives.

Overall, hearing aids offer various benefits beyond simply improving hearing, and can significantly enhance an individual’s overall well-being.

We know about the link between hearing loss and dementia.

One study from Johns Hopkins University linked hearing loss to an increased risk of dementia, with those experiencing severe hearing loss having up to five times the risk of developing dementia. In addition, it should be noted that hearing loss can also affect balance, brain reserves, mood, and even potentially contribute to an increased risk of falling.

Given all these potential links between hearing loss and various health outcomes, it becomes clearly important to seek proper assessment (to see what proper assessment means, see my BLOG posting next week), if necessary, use of hearing devices like hearing aids – not just to help with hearing, but for overall health and wellbeing.

Contact us for more information.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *