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Accidental falls are among the most prevalent causes of injury for adults in the United States, with one person going to the ER due to a fall every 11 seconds. Our bodies grow increasingly prone to falls as we age, and an unintentional fall can result in lasting damage and lengthy recovery times.
Understanding what factors lead to falls is the first step in preventing them, and you might be surprised to learn that untreated hearing loss is one of them. Hearing loss can be treated to reduce your risk of a dangerous fall and enhance your quality of life.
The link between falling and hearing loss
Although there is a link between falling and hearing loss, it is not widely understood.
Hearing loss makes it more difficult to understand words and sounds. Although you can usually hear noises, it’s not always possible to piece them together. Attempting to fill in the blanks necessitates extra mental effort. While our brain adapts for hearing loss, it depletes the cognitive power we need for other daily tasks, such as maintaining balance and coordination to avoid falling. In this way, untreated hearing loss over taxes the brain, contributing to an increase in the risk of falls.
Hearing loss, in essence, prevents our bodies and minds from fully appreciating the dangers of falling. Leaving hearing problems untreated means, you’re continually taxing your cognitive resources, which raises your chances of falling.
Other factors which increase the risk of falling
To avoid accidents, it’s critical to have a complete picture of the hazards of falling. After you’ve taken care of your hearing loss, you’ll need to consider additional risk factors.
It’s also crucial to have your vision checked regularly. You may miscalculate a barrier or fail to notice it totally if you have poor vision.
It’s also crucial to maintain your physical mobility. Regular exercise improves the responsiveness of your muscles and the speed with which you react. Exercising can also make your body more resilient to falling.
Make sure there are no impediments in your home. The majority of falls occur at home and can be avoided with little planning and attention. Always keep hallways free, and keep cords and tiny things out of areas where you walk. Maintain an organized and well-maintained home and constantly address issues as they develop, particularly loose flooring.
In wet or icy weather, always be cautious and wear shoes with adequate traction to assist you in maintaining your balance. Inside your home, make sure to mop up spills right away and have a nice bath mat in the bathroom to avoid slipping. If you’re worried about falling, consider installing rubber grips in your shower and handlebars in high-risk areas of your home.
Is it time to see a hearing professional?
As we become older, our chances of developing presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, increase. Around one-third of persons over the age of 65 have some hearing loss. Hearing loss affects more than half of the adult population by the age of 75. Around the age of 80, statistics show that nearly three out of four persons suffer from hearing loss.
Several things influence these figures. Hearing loss associated with age is frequently linked to gradual hearing deterioration throughout our lives. When the inner ear’s hair cells are damaged, they cannot heal themselves, resulting in persistent damage that accumulates over time. As we get older, our auditory system gets more fragile. The physical structures that help us hear are more easily damaged because they are already formed of delicate components.
It’s critical to monitor your hearing health at all times of your life. Consult your doctor or a hearing specialist if you notice a change in your hearing. Adults should also schedule an annual hearing test in conjunction with their annual physical. Even if no hearing loss is observed, regular hearing exams can establish a history of your hearing health and help spot hearing difficulties before they become significant problems.
We’re here to help! Contact us today if you need assistance with your hearing. Our specialists are dedicated to assisting you in gaining a better understanding of your hearing issues and connecting you with excellent hearing solutions. Make us your first choice for hearing wellness, whether you have a specific hearing question or it’s time for your next yearly test.