Hearing Services of Nashville

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 bike? Not unusual. Getting tripped up while running across the yard. Happens every day. It’s not really a worry because, well, kids are pretty limber. They rebound quite easily.

As you grow older though, that becomes less and less true. Falling becomes much more of a worry as you grow older. In part, that’s because your bones generally break more easily (and heal more slowly). Older individuals tend to spend more time 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 individuals over 65.

That’s why tools and devices that can decrease falls are always being sought after by healthcare professionals. Hearing aids may be just such a device according to research.

Can falls be caused by hearing loss

If you want to fully grasp how hearing aids could potentially prevent a fall, you need to ask this relevant question: does hearing loss make you more likely to fall to begin with? It looks as if the answer might be, yes.

So why does hearing loss increase the danger of a fall for people?

There isn’t really an intuitive connection. After all, hearing loss does not directly influence your ability to move or see. But this type of direct impact on your mobility, and an increased danger of falling, can be a consequence of some hearing loss symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion: Your brain is working overtime and you’re always straining when you have neglected hearing loss. Your brain will be continuously exhausted as a consequence. A weary brain is less likely to notice that obstacle in your path, and, as a result, you might end up tripping and falling over something that an alert brain would have detected.
  • Loss of balance: How is your balance impacted by hearing loss? Well, your inner ear is incredibly important to your overall equilibrium. So when hearing loss impacts your inner ear, you might find yourself a bit more likely to grow dizzy, experience vertigo, or have trouble maintaining your balance. Because of this, you may fall down more frequently.
  • Your situational awareness is impaired: You may not be capable of hearing the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps, the dog barking next door, or an approaching vehicle when you have neglected hearing loss. In other words, your situational awareness may be substantially affected. Can you become clumsy like this as a result of hearing loss? Well, kind of, loss of situational awareness can make day-to-day tasks a bit more dangerous. And your risk of bumping into something and having a fall will be a little higher.
  • High-pitched sounds get lost: You know how when you walk into an auditorium, you immediately know that you’re in a spacious venue, even if your eyes are closed? Or when you get into a car and you instantly know you’re in close quarters? Your ears are actually using something similar to “echolocation” and high-frequency sound to assist your spatial awareness. When you can no longer hear high-pitch sounds because of hearing loss, you can’t make those judgments quite as rapidly or easily. Loss of situational awareness and disorientation can be the consequences.
  • Depression: Neglected hearing loss can cause social isolation and depression (and also an increased risk of dementia). When you’re socially separated, you might be more likely to spend time at home, where tripping dangers abound, and be less likely to have help close at hand.

Part of the link between hearing loss and falling is also in your age. As you age, you’re more likely to develop permanent and advancing hearing loss. That will increase the chance of falling. As a result, when you get older, falls are more likely to have serious repercussions.

How can the danger of falling be lowered by wearing hearing aids?

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 lowered by up to 50% according to one study.

In the past, these figures (and the relationship between hearing aids and remaining on your feet) were a little bit less clear. That’s partially because people often fail to wear their hearing aids. As a result, falls among “hearing aid users” were often inconclusive. This wasn’t because the hearing aids were malfunctioning, it was because individuals weren’t wearing them.

The method of this study was carried out differently and perhaps more accurately. Individuals who wore their hearing aids now and again were separated from people who used them all of the time.

So how can you prevent falls by wearing hearing aids? Generally speaking, they keep you more alert, more concentrated, and less exhausted. The increased situational awareness also helped. Many hearing aids also come with a feature that can notify the authorities and family members if a fall happens. This can mean you get help quicker (this is critical for individuals 65 or older).

Consistently wearing your hearing aids is the key here.

Invest in your fall prevention devices today

Hearing aids can help you catch up with your friends, enjoy quality time with your loved ones, and remain connected to everyone who’s important in your life.

They can also help you stay on your feet, literally!

Make an appointment with us right away if you want to find out more about how your quality of life can be enhanced.

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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.
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