Hearing Aids Can Reduce the Danger of Falling

Senior woman fell down and is sitting on carpet and touching forehead with hand

Kids tend to fall pretty much every day. Wiping out on your bicycle? Not unusual. Stumbling over your own feet while you’re running outside? Happens every day. Kids are quite limber so, no big deal. They don’t typically stay down for very long.

The same cannot be said as you get older. The older you get, the more concerning a fall can become. One reason for this is that bones break easier and heal slower when you’re older. Older individuals tend to spend more time lying on the floor in pain because they have a more difficult time getting back up. Because of this, falls are the number one injury-connected cause of death in people older than 65.

It’s not surprising, then, that healthcare professionals are always on the lookout for tools and devices that can reduce falls. New research appears to suggest that we might have discovered one such device: hearing aids.

Can hearing loss lead to falls?

If you want to fully grasp how hearing aids could possibly prevent a fall, you need to ask this related question: does hearing loss make you more likely to fall in the first place? It seems as though the answer might be, yes.

So the question is, why would the danger of falling be raised by hearing loss?

That link isn’t exactly intuitive. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, impact your ability to move or see. But this type of direct impact on your mobility, and an increased risk of falling, can be a consequence of some hearing loss symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:

  • You have less situational awareness: When you have untreated hearing loss, you might not be as able to hear that approaching vehicle, or the barking dog beside you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. Your situational awareness might be substantially affected, in other words. Can you become clumsy in this way due to hearing loss? Well, in a way yes, daily activities can become more hazardous if your situational awareness is jeopardized. And your risk of stumbling into something and falling will be slightly higher.
  • Depression: Untreated hearing loss can result in social solitude and depression (not to mention an increased risk of dementia). You are likely to be at home a lot more when you’re socially separated, and tripping dangers will be all around without anybody to help you.
  • Loss of balance: How is your balance impacted by hearing loss? Well, your general balance depends greatly on your inner ear. So when hearing loss affects your inner ear, you may find yourself a little more likely to grow dizzy, experience vertigo, or have difficulty keeping your balance. In other words, you have a tendency to fall more frequently.
  • Exhaustion: Your brain is working extra hard and you’re always straining when you have untreated hearing loss. Your brain will be constantly exhausted as a result. A tired brain is less likely to see that obstacle in your path, and, as a result, you may end up tripping and falling over something that an alert brain would have detected.
  • High-pitched sounds get lost: When you go into a stadium, you know how even if your eyes are closed, you can detect that you’re in a large space? Or how you can instantly tell that you’re in a small space when you get into a car. That’s because your ears are utilizing high-pitched sounds to help you “echolocate,” basically. You will lose the ability to rapidly make those judgment calls when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-pitched tones. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the consequences.

Part of the link between hearing loss and falling is also in your age. As you age, you’re more likely to develop irreversible and progressive hearing loss. At the same time, you’re more likely to take a tumble. Consequently, when you get older, falls are more likely to have severe repercussions.

How can hearing aids help reduce falls?

It seems logical that hearing aids would be part of the remedy when hearing loss is the problem. And new research has borne that out. Your danger of falling could be decreased by as much as 50% based on one study.

The relationship between remaining on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this clear. That’s partly because individuals often fail to use their hearing aids. So it was inconclusive how often hearing aid users were having a fall. This wasn’t because the hearing aids were malfunctioning, it was because people weren’t wearing them.

But this new study took a different (and maybe more accurate) strategy. People who used their hearing aids now and again were separated from individuals who wore them all of the time.

So why does using your hearing aids help you avoid falls? In general, they keep you more alert, more focused, and less fatigued. It doesn’t hurt that you have increased spatial awareness. Many hearing aids also include a feature that can notify the authorities and family members in case of a fall. Help will arrive quicker this way.

But the key here is to make sure you’re using your hearing aids frequently and regularly.

Get your fall prevention devices today

Hearing aids can help you reunite with your friends, enjoy quality time with your family members, and stay in touch with everybody who’s important in your life.

They can also help prevent a fall!

Schedule an appointment with us today if you want to learn more about how your quality of life can be enhanced.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.