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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 substantially decrease your chances of anxiety, depression, and even cognitive decline.

Wearing your hearing aid can be the difference between living an active healthy life and taking many trips to the ER, according to some new studies.

The Study

This University of Michigan research gathered participants ranging from 65-85. Each had significant hearing loss. But out of all of those people who participated, only 45% of them wore their hearing aids regularly.

Other researchers 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 might not seem like a very big number. But statistically, this is substantial.

And that’s not all. They also found that those who used their hearing aids spend, on average, one day fewer in the hospital. They were more likely to keep regular appointments with their doctors, which probably reduced their time in ER.

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

First for the obvious one. You wouldn’t be as likely to need emergency care if you were keeping up on your health.

Other studies have shown that when people with hearing loss use their hearing aids, they stay more connected to family, friends, and the community. When a person is socially connected they are usually more motivated to keep their appointments and also have more support from friends and family getting to the doctor.

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

One study carried out in the U.S. found that depression is twice as likely in people who don’t use their hearing aid. Health concerns linked to lack of self care is frequently an outcome of depression.

Thirdly, various studies have shown that using your hearing aid can reduce fall risk and cognitive decline. As a person starts to lose their hearing, the corresponding part of the brain begins to decline from lack of use. Over time, this can extend through the brain. As this happens, people commonly experience dementia symptoms and the disorientation and lack of balance connected with falls.

Long hospital stays frequently accompany falls and falling is a leading cause of senior death.

These are only a few of the reasons that hearing aids help decrease trips to the ER.

Why do so Many People Neglect Wearing Hearing Aids?

There’s really no good reason.

Some people don’t use them because they think that hearing aids make them look older than they actually are. 25% of individuals over 65 and 50% of people over 75 have hearing loss and yet this notion of looking old with hearing aids persists. Hearing loss is not uncommon. It’s common. Plus, hearing loss is increasing even with 20-year-olds thanks to earbuds and the rise in noise pollution.

Ironically, constantly asking people to repeat what they said often makes a person seem much older than they are.

Cost is often cited as a worry. However, hearing aids have become more affordable in just the past few years, and there are financing options available.

Some people don’t like the way hearing aids sound. If this is a problem for you, your hearing specialist can help you understand what settings work best in different situations. Hearing aids don’t always fit and sound optimal on the first fitting and sometimes require several tries.

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

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