The Truth May Shock You
According to The Center for Disease Control, the leading cause of injury-related death among everyone aged 65 years old & above is accidental falls. Almost 700,000 older Americans die from accidental falls each year.
This may surprise you. When we think of the elderly & their many common health problems we likely think of cancer & heart disease. And when we think of injuries we probably think of overdoses & car accidents. But if you think about it, these statistics actually are not very surprising.
More than 13% of the U.S. population aged 18 & above suffers from some detectable degree of disabling hearing loss. This is a higher percentage of the population than diabetes or cancer. Fewer than three out of every 1,000 births in the U.S. involve some manner of congenital hearing loss, but the factors that lead to hearing loss are so plentiful that the percentage of the population that suffers from it increases steadily with age. Eventually, more than one-third of everyone aged 65 & above has it. And shockingly, more than half of everyone aged 75 years old & above has hearing loss.
And hearing loss is one of the leading causes of accidental falls. Researchers have found that even mild hearing loss will triple the likelihood that someone will experience an accidental fall. And for every 10 decibels (dB) of hearing loss that someone experiences, the likelihood that they will suffer an accidental fall increases by 140%.
Resistance to Appropriate Treatment
Perhaps the most shocking statistics about hearing loss in the U.S. are those regarding how resistant people are to treating it appropriately. There are all kinds of social & psychological motives that factor into explaining this, but the statistics are harsh. Fewer than 20% of those with hearing loss seek & maintain an appropriate treatment program. And among the people who do wear hearing aids, they have waited an average of seven years to do so. That is seven years between first suspecting that they maybe should wear a hearing aid & finally doing so.
The consequences of not treating your hearing loss with the urgency it deserves are plentiful & dire. Ignoring your hearing health can cause all sorts of unnecessary social, professional, emotional, and even psychological problems. And hearing loss poses a very real risk to your physical safety, intensifying the risk of accidental falls at every moment.
How Hearing Loss Heightens the Risk of Accidental Falls
Your sense of balance depends on your sense of hearing. Standing up straight & not feeling dizzy, that balance that we may likely take for granted is completely dependent on the equilibrium maintained in the delicate workings of your inner ear. This means that even in the most controlled environments such as your home, hearing loss is boosting the likelihood that you will injure yourself with a fall.
And that is the best case scenario in regards to safety, because none of us actually live in a world of controlled environments. Hearing loss heightens the risk to your physical safety in three ways:
1. It compromises & warps your environmental awareness.There are all sorts of situations in which all any of us can really control is our response to our environment. This is true, of course, in traffic or in crowds. And it is true even in your own home, when a pet scuttles underfoot.
2. Similarly, hearing loss distorts your spatial awareness. It is not only the other moveable things in your environment that you will fail to notice coming at you. You may also bump into things if you are not able to properly gauge how your body is positioned in relation to other people and objects.
3. Hearing loss is disorienting. It creates cognitive overload. When you invest greater mental energy simply on hearing and comprehending, that diminishes the mental capacity you have to passively monitor your balance.
Do Not Wait
Too much depends on you taking the initiative to treat your hearing loss with the gravity it deserves. Make an appointment with one of our specialists today to help advise you on the course of treatment just right for you, your needs, & your budget. Correcting your hearing will help you maintain your balance, increase your awareness, and help you relax into an overall improved sense of well-being.
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