McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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

Having to go to the ER can be personally and financially costly. What if you could lessen ER visits and dramatically decrease your chances of depression, anxiety, and even cognitive decline.

Surfacing studies make the case that, for individuals with serious hearing loss, wearing their hearing aid could be the difference between staying connected and healthy and winding up spending many evenings in the emergency room.

The Research

This University of Michigan study gathered participants that ranged from 65-85. Severe hearing loss was a common condition between them. But only 45% of the participants wore their hearing aids on a regular basis.

Other studies have also revealed that hearing aids were used regularly by only 30% of people who had them.

Of the 585 individuals in the hearing aid group, 12 fewer people found themselves in the ER or non-elective hospital stay.

This may seem like a small number. But statistically, this is significant.

And there’s more. They also found that one day fewer, on average, was spent in the hospital for people who wore their hearing aids. Their time at the ER was probably reduced because they were more likely to keep their regular doctor’s appointments.

How Can Hearing Aids Decrease The Need For Emergency Care Visits?

The first one is obvious. You wouldn’t be as likely to need emergency care if you were paying attention to your health.

Also, people who use their hearing aids stay more socially engaged. This can result in both a stronger motivation to keep that doctor’s appointment and better access to services and support to get to appointments.

For those bringing themselves, it means that they can drive more safely with less stress about what they’re not hearing.

In addition, a U.S. study revealed that those with hearing loss who don’t wear their hearing aid are two times as likely to be depressed. Health issues related to lack of self care is commonly an outcome of depression.

Thirdly, various studies have found that wearing your hearing aid can lessen the risk of falling and cognitive decline. As a person starts to suffer from hearing impairment, the associated part of the brain begins to decline from disuse. The rest of the brain is ultimately impacted. The disorientation related to falls and symptoms of dementia are frequently the result.

Falls are one of the leading causes of death among those over 65, and the resulting hospitalizations last two times as long.

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

Why do so Many Individuals Neglect Wearing Hearing Aids?

There’s really no good reason.

Some don’t use them because they think that hearing aids make them seem older than they actually are. This notion remains despite the fact that around 25% of people over 65 have significant hearing loss, and 50% of those 75 and older have it. Hearing loss isn’t uncommon. It happens to lots of people. Plus, hearing loss is increasing even with 20-year-olds because of earbuds and the rise in noise pollution.

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

Some people reference the costs of hearing aids. However, financing is possible for hearing aids and costs have come down in the last few years.

Finally, some don’t like the hearing experience with their hearing aid. This can often be corrected by simply consulting your hearing specialist to learn how to more successfully use your hearing aid in various settings. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound perfect on the first fitting and sometimes need a few tries.

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

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