The Danger of Falls and How Hearing Aids Can Help

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

Kids have a tendency to fall pretty much every day. Wiping out on your bike? Not unusual. Stumbling over your own feet when you’re running outside? Also rather typical. It’s not really a worry because, well, kids are pretty limber. They bounce back quite easily.

As you grow older though, that becomes less and less true. Falling becomes much more of a worry as you get older. In part, that’s because your bones generally break more easily (and heal slower). Older individuals may have a more difficult time getting up after a tumble, so they spend more time in pain on the floor. Because of this, falls are the number one injury-connected cause of death in individuals over 65.

It’s not surprising, then, that healthcare professionals are always on the hunt for tools and devices that can lessen falls. Hearing aids might be just such a device according to research.

Can hearing loss lead to falls?

If you want to fully grasp how hearing aids could potentially prevent a fall, you need to ask this relevant question: is it feasible that hearing loss can increase your risk of falling? It appears as though the answer might be, yes.

So the question is, why would the risk of falling be increased by hearing loss?

There isn’t exactly an intuitive connection. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, impact your ability to move or see. But this kind of direct impact on your mobility, and an elevated danger of falling, can be a consequence of some hearing loss symptoms. Here are some of those symptoms:

  • Loss of balance: How can hearing loss effect your balance? Well, your inner ear is extremely significant to your overall equilibrium. So you may find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss impacts your inner ear. Essentially, you have a tendency to fall more often.
  • You can’t hear high-frequency sounds: When you go into a stadium, you know how even if you close your eyes, you can tell you’re in a huge space? Or when you get into a car and you instantly know you’re in a small space? Your ears are actually utilizing something like “echolocation” and high-frequency sound to help your spatial awareness. You will lose the ability to quickly make those judgment calls when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-pitched tones. This can result in disorientation and loss of situational awareness.
  • Depression: Social solitude and maybe even cognitive decline can be the outcome of neglected hearing loss. When you’re socially isolated, you might be more likely to stay at home, where tripping hazards are everywhere, and be less likely to have help nearby.
  • Exhaustion: Your brain is working overtime and you’re always straining when you have neglected hearing loss. Your brain will be continuously tired as a consequence. A tired brain is less likely to see that obstacle in your path, and, as a consequence, you may end up tripping and falling over something that an alert brain would have noticed.
  • 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 next to you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. In other words, your situational awareness may be substantially impacted. Can loss of hearing make you clumsy like this? Well, in a way yes, daily activities can become more dangerous if your situational awareness is compromised. And that means you might be a little bit more likely to accidentally stumble into something, and have a tumble.

Age is also a factor when it comes to hearing loss-associated falls. You’re more likely to experience progressing and permanent hearing loss. That will increase the likelihood of falling. And when you’re older, falling can have much more severe consequences.

How can the risk of falling be lowered by using hearing aids?

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

The connection between staying on your feet and hearing loss wasn’t always this clear. In part, that’s because not everyone uses their hearing aids all of the time. So it was inconclusive how frequently hearing aid users were having a fall. This was because people weren’t wearing their hearing aids, not because their hearing aids were broken.

The approach of this research was carried out differently and maybe more effectively. Individuals who wore their hearing aids now and again were separated from people who wore them all of the time.

So why does wearing your hearing aids help you avoid falls? Generally speaking, they keep you more alert, more concentrated, and less fatigued. It also helps that you have increased situational awareness. Many hearing aids also include a feature that can notify the authorities and family members if a fall happens. Help will come faster this way.

But the key here is to be sure you’re wearing your hearing aids often and consistently.

Get your fall prevention devices today

You will be able to stay close to your family members if you wear hearing aids, not to mention catch up with friends.

They can also help prevent a fall!

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

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.