Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

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

Having to go to the ER can be financially and personally costly. What if you could prevent ER visits and substantially reduce your risk of depression, anxiety, and even cognitive decline.

Using your hearing aid can be the difference between having an active healthy life and taking many trips to the ER, according to some new research.

The Research

Participants from 65 to 85 participated in a University of Michigan study. Extreme hearing loss was a common problem between them. But out of all of those who participated, only 45% of them used their hearing aids regularly.

Other researchers have also shown that hearing aids were worn regularly by only 30% of people who had them.

12 fewer, of the 585 individuals who did use their hearing aid, had Er visits or unplanned hospitalizations.

This might not seem like a very large number. But it’s statistically substantial.

And there’s more. They also found that those who used their hearing aids spend, on average, one fewer day in the hospital. They were more likely to show up for regular appointments with their doctors, which most likely reduced their time in ER.

How Might Hearing Aids Reduce The Need For ER Visits?

First for the obvious one. You wouldn’t be as likely to require emergency care if you are paying attention to your health.

Also, people who wear their hearing aids stay more socially active. When a person is socially connected they are usually more committed to keeping keep their appointments and also have more support from family and friends getting to the doctor.

For those driving themselves, it means that they will be able to drive more safely with less stress about what they’re not hearing.

In addition, a U.S. study found that individuals 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, several studies have found that wearing your hearing aid can decrease the risk of falling and dementia. As a person begins to suffer from hearing impairment, the associated part of the brain starts to decline from lack of use. The rest of the brain is eventually affected. The disorientation associated with falls and symptoms of dementia are often the result.

Long hospital stays often accompany falls and falling is a major cause of senior death.

These are just a few of the reasons that hearing aids help decrease ER visits.

So Why is Wearing Hearing Aids Something That so Many Individuals Avoid?

There’s really no good reason.

Fear of looking old is one leading reason why some individuals don’t use their hearing aids. 25% of individuals over 65 and 50% of people above the age of 75 have hearing loss and yet this perception of looking old with hearing aids persists. Hearing impairment isn’t rare. It’s common. And thanks to the increase in noise pollution and earbud usage, hearing loss is increasing among people in their twenties.

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

Cost is often noted as a concern. However, financing is possible for hearing aids and costs have come down in the last few years.

Some people don’t like how hearing aids sound. In this case, your hearing specialist can help you understand what settings work best in different situations. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound perfect on the first fitting and sometimes require a few tries.

Schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist so we can help you feel more comfortable wearing your hearing aids.

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