Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

Senior woman fell down and is sitting on carpet and touching forehead with hand

Kids tend to fall on a daily basis. Wiping out on your bicycle? That’s normal. Stumbling over your own feet while you’re running outside? Also fairly normal. It’s not really a worry because, well, kids are kind of limber. They rebound very easily.

As you grow older though, that becomes less and less true. Falling becomes much more of a worry as you grow older. In part, that’s because your bones generally break more easily (and heal slower). Older individuals tend to spend more time on the floor in pain because they have a harder time getting back up. Falling is the leading injury-related cause of death as a result.

That’s why tools and devices that can reduce falls are always being sought after by healthcare professionals. New research seems to indicate that we might have found one such device: hearing aids.

Can falls be caused by hearing loss

If you want to understand how hearing aids could potentially prevent a fall, you need to ask this relevant question: is it possible that hearing loss can raise your chance of falling? In some instances, it seems that the answer is a strong affirmative.

So the question is, why would the danger of falling be raised by hearing loss?

There’s not exactly an intuitive link. Hearing loss doesn’t really, after all, impact your ability to move or see. But it turns out there are some symptoms of hearing loss that do have this kind of direct effect on your ability to move around, and these symptoms can result in an increased risk of having a fall. Some of those symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion: Your brain is working extra hard and you’re always straining when you have neglected hearing loss. Your brain will be continuously tired as a consequence. An exhausted brain is less likely to see that obstacle in your path, and, as a consequence, you may end up tripping and falling over something that an attentive brain would have detected.
  • Depression: Social solitude and maybe even cognitive decline can be the result of neglected hearing loss. You are likely to be at home a lot more when you’re socially separated, and tripping hazards will be all around without anybody to help you.
  • You have less situational awareness: When you have neglected hearing loss, you may not be as able to hear that oncoming vehicle, or the dog barking beside you, or the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps. In other words, your situational awareness may be significantly impacted. Can you become clumsy like this because of hearing loss? Well, sort of, loss of situational awareness can make daily tasks a little more hazardous. And that means you may be slightly more likely to unintentionally stumble into something, and take a fall.
  • Loss of balance: How does hearing loss impact your balance? Well, your inner ear is very significant to your total equilibrium. So you may find yourself dizzy, experience vertigo, and lose your balance when hearing loss affects the inner ear. As a result of this, you may fall down more often.
  • You can’t hear high-frequency sounds: When you go into an arena, you know how even if you close your eyes, you can tell you’re in a large space? Or how you can immediately tell that you’re in a small space when you get into a car. Your ears are actually using something similar to “echolocation” and high-frequency sound to assist your spatial awareness. You will lose the ability to rapidly make those assessments when hearing loss causes you to lose those high-pitched tones. This can lead to disorientation and loss of situational awareness.

Part of the link between falling and hearing loss is also in your age. You’re more likely to develop progressing and permanent hearing loss. At the same time, you’re more likely to have a fall. And when you’re older, falling can have much more serious consequences.

How can hearing aids help minimize falls?

It seems logical that hearing aids would be part of the remedy when hearing loss is the issue. And this is being confirmed by new research. Your danger of falling could be lowered by up to 50% based on one study.

In the past, these numbers (and the connection between hearing aids and staying upright) were a bit fuzzier. That’s partly because individuals often fail to use their hearing aids. As a consequence, falls among “hearing aid users” were often inconclusive. This wasn’t because the hearing aids weren’t working, it was because individuals weren’t using them.

The approach of this study was carried out differently and perhaps more effectively. Individuals who used their hearing aids frequently were put in a different group than those who used them occasionally.

So why does using your hearing aids help you avoid falls? They keep you less exhausted, more focused, and generally more vigilant. It also helps that you have added situational awareness. In addition, many hearing aids come with safety features created to activate in the case of a fall. This can mean you get help faster (this is essential for people older than 65).

Consistently wearing your hearing aids is the trick here.

Invest in your fall prevention devices today

Hearing aids can help you catch up with your friends, enjoy quality time with your family members, and remain connected to everybody who’s important in your life.

They can also help you remain on your feet, literally!

Make an appointment with us today if you want to know more about how your quality of life can be enhanced.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today