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Maintaining healthy hearing is part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Data from years of health surveys shows untreated hearing loss increases your risk of accidental injury. An evaluation and treatment plan from Hearing Health will go a long way to helping you stay injury free and help you maintain the lifestyle you are accustomed to.
Even people with a slight hearing loss are at an increased risk for accidents, according to data gathered during a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national health survey. The data involved analyzing accidental injuries using a cross-section of adults.
Accidental injuries were reported by 2.8% of the adults over a three-month period and the odds of injury doubled for adults reporting hearing issues. Those reporting hearing loss were likely to be injured playing sports or engaging in leisure activities.
There were also reports of driving incidents related to hearing loss, although those were fewer than the other activities.
In the areas of work, leisure and sporting activities, the risk of injury increased with the level of hearing loss. Those who reported a minor hearing loss were 60% more likely to have an injury, those who reported a moderate loss were 70% more likely and those who said they had “a lot” of hearing loss were 90% more likely to have an accident.
Injury risk in leisure activities
As we move into our senior years, we have more time for leisure activities, so it is unfortunate that the highest category of injuries reported due to hearing loss is in leisure activities. You should be enjoying yourself, but if you don’t treat your hearing loss you are putting yourself at risk doing what you enjoy! Researchers indicate this is likely the highest accident category because when you are having a good time, you are less likely to pay attention to all the things going around you.
If you enjoy a leisurely walk are you going to be able to hear someone calling from behind you if they are jogging to alert you to move over? Will you hear the bell from a bicycle? Will you be able to carry on a conversation with a friend that is walking with you with a lot of background noise?
The dangers of a fall increase with hearing loss which puts you at risk if you enjoy hiking, rock climbing or other outside activities by yourself. Studies show if you are concentrating on listening because you are compensating for hearing loss there is less brain power to process other things going on. You are more likely to slip or lose your balance.
Many people enjoy outdoor activities for all the wonderful natural sounds, rushing water, crickets and songbirds. Your enjoyment of a lot of things will also be diminished if you don’t treat your hearing loss
These days, driving involves a lot more multi-tasking and hearing is important to avoid an accident. Even the most careful driver can have issues carrying on a conversation in the car, listening to the GPS and also being aware of outside surroundings. Will you be able to hear a horn from another driver? Will you be able to hear a siren from an emergency vehicle? And, of course, there’s the ever present cell phone ringing, too!
If you answered – well most of the time – to the questions about horns and emergency vehicles, is that going to be enough to prevent you from getting a ticket? Will you be able to tell what direction the siren is coming from? Do you want to risk losing your independence and your driver’s license or worse, injuring yourself or others?
Since compensating for hearing loss can affect your balance, falls in your home could be a real problem with untreated hearing loss. Will you hear a knock at the door? The microwave tones? The smoke or carbon monoxide alarm? And you’ll miss out on all those comforting sounds that make your house your home. You won’t hear the gentle sound of branches on the roof or the icemaker or the soft snore of your dog.
Be safe – get your hearing tested
Hearing Health can evaluate your hearing with a professional painless hearing exam. Don’t miss out on the sounds of life and avoid a higher risk of accidental injury.