Falls & Accidents Are More Likely with Hearing Loss

Falls & Accidents Are More Likely with Hearing Loss

Did you know that living with untreated hearing loss increases your risk of having a fall or accident? A recent study lists yet one more reason why treating hearing loss early is important. Not only will you improve communication, stay mobile, and have a higher overall quality of life, you’ll also lower your risk of accidental injury.

Studying Hearing Loss and Accidents

A recent study looked at the link between hearing loss and accidents, and Hossein Mahboubi from the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of California, Irvine, examined data from the National Health Interview Survey for the years 2007 to 2015. What he found was that those with hearing loss were twice as likely to have an accidental injury than their hearing peers! For anyone with clear hearing, the rate of accidental injury is about 2% at both work and leisure activities. For those with hearing loss, that number soared to 4%.

This study clearly demonstrates the link between hearing health and injuries. “One can assume that if someone’s hearing is not great,” explains Mahboubi, “if something comes their way like a baseball, or if they’re cycling out there and there’s a car horn getting close to them, they may not be able to hear that, and that theoretically can increase the possibility of getting injured.”

Accident Prone

If you have hearing loss, you’re risking your health and safety, as well as the safety of those around you. The study found that those with hearing loss were more likely to be in a car accident, and get injured while playing sports. Interestingly, those struggling to hear were more likely to get injured during leisure activities, but those with clear hearing faced more workplace accidents. The researchers think this could be explained because those with hearing loss are aware of the dangers of their hearing, and could be extra cautious at work, but let their guard down when away from the jobsite.

Finally, people with mild hearing loss were more likely to have an accident or fall than those with moderate or severe hearing loss! Mahboubi explained that this was an “eye-opening” experience, and that after those with mild hearing loss had an accident, they were far more careful, so that even when their hearing loss became more severe, they were less likely to have accidents.

Reducing the Risk of Accidents

To reduce your risk of accidents, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, and watch for any warning signs. This could be an emergency siren, a warning honk, or someone yelling to you from across the street. At work and during leisure activities, always stay alert, and make sure you’re noticing everything around you.

Treating Hearing Loss

If those with hearing loss are far more likely to be hurt, why aren’t more people treating their hearing loss? Mahboubi says it could be part of a much bigger issue. “There’s a lot being said about hearing loss, probably everybody knows about it, but it may not be enough, because still, there are people who are out there who have hearing difficulty, and they’re not being evaluated properly… And considering everything, I think there’s more room for improvement with respect to increasing awareness among the public and also among the doctors that hearing loss needs to be taken more seriously.”

If you or a loved one has hearing loss, hearing loss treatment is the best thing you can do for your safety. You’ll be able to hear all the sounds around you, localize where sounds are coming from, and be more spatially aware. This will lower your risk of falls or accidents, and you’ll protect your safety.

Hearing Consultants

Do you want to reduce your risk of fall and accidents? Visit us today at the Hearing Consultants, and keep yourself, your coworkers, and your loved ones safe. A quality pair of hearing aids will give you increased awareness, and you’ll be alert to everything that’s happening around you. You’ll be able to hear all the sounds around you, and identify safety hazards before you get injured. Not only will you be safer, you’ll be able to follow conversations easily, strengthen your relationships, and enjoy spending quality time with the people that matter the most to you.

 

Why Do People Shy Away from Treating Hearing Loss?

Why Do People Shy Away from Treating Hearing Loss?

 

Do you have hearing loss? Are you avoiding talking about your hearing loss, or scared to admit to family and friends that you’re struggling to hear? Roughly 40 million Americans have hearing loss, but only around 1 in every 3 people who need hearing aids actually have them. This is because many people shy away from treating their hearing loss, and choose to ignore their hearing health.

Investing in Hearing Aids

One big reason people shy away from treating hearing loss is the cost of investing in hearing aids. Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, and when people weigh the pros and cons of treating their hearing loss, they’ll often choose their bank account over their hearing health, because the initial investment of purchasing hearing aids seems high.

While this might seem to save you money in the moment, untreated hearing loss is actually costing you thousands of dollars. Those who live with untreated hearing loss are more prone to trips, slips and falls. They have more accidents, and are hospitalized more often than their hearing peers. They also visit the doctor far more often, and have higher medical costs. Not only that, but they spend years of their lives missing out on the important sounds around them, damaging the relationships that matter the most, and struggling with social isolation or even depression.

Over the Counter Hearing Aids

When considering the cost of hearing aids, some Americans choose to purchase over the counter devices. Sadly, these devices become another reason people shy away from treating hearing loss. In theory, over the counter hearing aids seem great, providing hearing with a cheap price tag. Unfortunately, when you purchase over the counter hearing aids, you won’t have customized hearing, and the devices likely won’t fit your ears or your hearing needs. Over the counter hearing aids aren’t calibrated to match your unique hearing profile, and you won’t get the benefit of wearing devices. If the device itself fits poorly, you’ll also experience whistling, feedback, or even discomfort.

After a disappointing experience with over the counter devices, people shy away from treating hearing loss, or investing money in a quality hearing device from a hearing health specialist.

Facing the Stigma of Hearing Loss

Another reason people shy away from looking after their hearing health is the stigma that still surrounds hearing loss. Many people feel that talking about their hearing loss, or admitting that their hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was is like admitting that they’re getting old. It’s important to realize that hearing loss affects people of all ages, and has a number of causes. Hearing loss doesn’t just affect seniors, and isn’t about getting old. Treating hearing loss and being able to keep up with the kids lets you seem as young as you feel, and sleek, sophisticated devices will make you seem younger, not older.

The Price of Untreated Hearing Loss

If you think the cost of hearing devices is high, the price of living with untreated hearing loss is far higher. Not only will you be missing out on the sounds around you, but your physical, mental, and emotional health will suffer as well. Those with untreated hearing loss have higher rates of anxiety, social isolation, and depression, and when communication breaks down, relationships will suffer. Those with hearing loss also experience more rapid cognitive decline, have trouble focusing on tasks, and risk earlier onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

Hearing Consultants

It’s time to face your hearing loss head on, and stop shying away from treating hearing loss. Many people wait between 5 and 7 years before treating their hearing loss! Don’t become part of that statistic, but do the right thing for your health and your bank account, and call us today at the Hearing Consultants to start your journey to clear hearing.

After a comprehensive hearing test to determine your unique hearing needs, we’ll work with you to find the perfect hearing devices that will give you back your ability to hear in every listening environment. They’ll be programmed to match your lifestyle, and you can focus at work, enjoy time with your friends, and invest in your loved ones. Don’t shy away from treating hearing loss, and visit our hearing health specialists at Hearing Consultants.

 

How Exercise, Diet, Sleep, and Hearing Affect Brain Aging

How Exercise, Diet, Sleep, and Hearing Affect Brain Aging

Have you been wondering what factors affect your brain, and what can lead to early aging? Exercise, diet, sleep, and hearing all affect brain aging. If you look after your health today, you can look forward to a future with a healthy brain, but if you ignore the advice of your doctor, you could be facing some serious consequences as you age.

What Happens to the Brain as We Age?

According to Stephen M. Stahl, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, exercise, diet, sleep, and hearing are the 4 biggest factors that affect the brain as we age. “In normal aging, our brains slow down,” explains Stahl. “Intelligence remains stable, but we become less mentally flexible. We have longer processing time and declines in motor, sensory, and cognitive abilities.” In fact, in normal aging, the brain shrinks, and there is less white matter tissue in an older brain, as well as less myelin, the coating along neural pathways that speeds up synaptic activity in the brain.

Exercise and the Brain

It’s no secret that staying mobile is the key to staying young. Running around the park with your grandchildren will keep you young at heart, help you maintain a healthy weight, and keep your joints working smoothly. For those who are active as they age, the risk of dementia is lowered by 32%, meaning that your brain is a lot healthier! Even exercising for half an hour 3 or more times a week has great benefits for your overall health and wellbeing as well as your brain health. Recent studies show that exercising leads to improved attention and processing speed, as well as better memory recall and decision-making skills.

Diet and the Brain

They say you are what you eat, and this might hold more truth than you realize. Two diets that are great for the brain are the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the Mediterranean Diet (MediDiet). While you can follow any healthy diet, the reason these particular diets showed great brain health was due to the high recommended consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. Both diets also recommend a low intake of red meat or any processed meats. For adults following these diets, studies show improved cognitive function, lower rates of cognitive decline, and better brain health.

Sleep and the Brain

This one is a real no-brainer, and we all know how tired and unfocused we are if we haven’t had a good night’s sleep. Sleep disorders are increasingly common among seniors, and many adults struggle with insomnia or sleep apnea, both of which impact your ability to fall asleep and sleep deeply through the night. A lack of sleep has some extremely negative health outcomes, including stress, anxiety, and depression. You might also experience irritability, moodiness, and the inability to concentrate on tasks.

Hearing and the Brain

Finally, hearing has been closely linked to brain health. Hearing loss affects millions of Americans of all ages, and especially among seniors, living with untreated hearing loss is hurting your brain. Hearing loss is linked to rapid cognitive decline, and a higher risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Those with hearing loss aren’t able to communicate easily, often withdraw from conversations, and face social isolation. The brain doesn’t get enough exercise, and in a case of use it or lose it, hearing loss can lead to poor brain health. Hearing loss has also been linked to problems with memory, attention span, and the ability to focus on difficult tasks, whether at home or at the office.

Hearing Consultants

Do the right thing for your brain, and call us today at the Hearing Consultants. According to Stahl, treating hearing loss can lead to cognitive improvements, and when you get a quality pair of hearing aids, you’ll notice the difference not just in your hearing, but in your cognitive abilities. Your friends and family will be amazed at how well you can hold your own in battles of the wit, and you’ll wish you’d treated your hearing loss sooner. Once you’ve looked after your hearing health, take a close look at your exercise, diet, and sleep patterns, and learn new ways to preserve brain health.