Untreated hearing loss can cause a lot of emotional and social issues, but it also can be dangerous to your general health. You may think your hearing loss means you are just missing parts of conversations, but it actual makes accidental injuries more likely, too. And studies show adults experiencing hearing loss may wait up to 10 years before getting treatment!
Treatment at Hearing Health is easy, comfortable and respectful. Portland’s No. 1 rated hearing aid provider stands ready to help with your hearing issues and help you reduce your risk of accidental injury.
Increased accident risk
People with even a mild hearing loss issue are at an increased risk for accidents. A nationwide study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year studied more than 232 million adults and more than 15% reported hearing problems. Within three months of the survey, 2.8% reported they had been injured. The injuries were related to work, leisure or sports activities.
For the three categories; work, leisure and sporting activities, the risk of injury increased steadily with the amount of hearing loss. And, the hearing loss adults were compared to adults reporting no 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.
One of the study’s authors added this comment – “I never wear headphones when I am biking because not hearing warning signs can put you in harm’s way. Hearing loss is not just a social nuisance. It can predispose you to injury.”
Those with hearing loss who reported injuries for studies done by the CDCP as well as a British and John Hopkins study said they were most often experiencing falls and injuries during leisure activities.
One of the most obvious problems with hearing loss is missing something while you are driving. Can you hear police sirens, horns, screeching tires and your blinkers? If you are concentrating on listening to the radio or your GPS will you hear someone yelling outside? Will you be distracted if children playing outside while you are driving by suddenly start making noise?
If you injure yourself in a car accident, you are likely going to get a ticket and face some hard issues about whether or not you will retain your license.
If you are outside either working or enjoying a leisure activity, will you hear someone calling to you? Will you hear them tell you to duck that a ball or frisbee is coming your way? Will you hear a cyclist coming up behind you on a walking path and step aside? Will you hear that bee you might be allergic to buzzing around your head? You would if you had your hearing aids on!
A not-so-obvious issue of hearing loss and injury is the danger of falls. Even a mild hearing loss, according to studies, can cause balance and falling issues because you are not 100% cognitive of your surroundings. Here is the issue – there is a direct correlation when a person compensates for hearing loss and falling because of sensory overload. The auditory nerve is working overtime to process sound for the brain and the brain is making an extra effort to interpret and process the sounds. You are using more of your brain to try and hear and that leaves less brainpower to be aware of your surroundings and maintain your balance.
A study of individuals between the ages of 49 and 69 who reported they were hard of hearing, showed they had more instances of injuries due to falls. Unfortunately, as the age goes up, so does the examples of needing hospitalization and sometimes prolonged hospitalization, due to falls.
In the home
Problems with hearing loss and balance can also results in falls in the home. Other issues with hearing loss in the home can also lead to injury. Can you hear the smoke alarm or the carbon monoxide alarms no matter where you are in the house? Can you hear the phone ringing?
Help is a phone call away
Hearing Health offers comprehensive hearing tests and hearing aid fittings. Put your fear of falling or being injured because of hearing to rest. Better hearing is better for your and just a phone call away!