Do you feel a bit less confident in your movements these days? Are you getting hurt more often? Are strange bruises and broken belongings becoming the norm? Have you had more than one serious fall over the past few years or ended up in the ER?
There may be a scientific reason that you’re finding these occurrences more frequent. And it’s not just natural aging.
A recent, extensive study by the CDC found a connection you need to know about. With this connection comes a potential “fix” for this problem. And research shows that failing to address this problem could lead to an ever-increasing frequency of these accidents.
Have you had your hearing test this year? Here’s why you shouldn’t wait any longer.
What They Found
The CDC surveyed over 200 million adults. (They’re known for being thorough!) When the CDC reports a finding or trend, it’s worth it to listen.
Their survey found that about 15.7% of people were suffering from hearing loss. Over 50% had some hearing loss. Nearly 17% of those with hearing loss had dealt with a serious accident in the past three months.
As they looked further, they found that those with minor, but noticeable, hearing loss were 60% more likely to have had a recent accident. Those with moderate hearing loss were 70% more likely to have had a recent accident. For those with severe hearing loss, the risk nearly doubled.
The most common places for accidents to occur were in the workplace and during recreational activities. This may surprise you. Accidents during leisure activities were the most consistent and frequent. These are the times when you’re relaxing, doing fun or peaceful activities.
Why Are People with Hearing Loss Accident Prone
More studies are needed to confirm the cause and effect relationship that seems evident in this study, but there are many proven reasons that people with untreated hearing loss would be more accident prone. Those with untreated hearing loss:
- Are more likely to isolate themselves. Because of it, they may try to overextend themselves because they didn’t have someone there to help.
- Miss auditory cues most people take for granted such as an approaching person, vehicle or hazard. This can cause a startle response that leads to falls, breaking things or other injuries.
- Miss important parts of oral instructions without realizing it. This is particularly common during vacation, excursion or group hobby activities.
- May not hear buzzers, timers, alarms and other auditory devices we use to warn us of danger
- Find it more difficult to process memories and problem-solving as the condition progresses. Dementia and other cognitive disorders are 24% more common among those with untreated hearing loss.
- May be slow to respond in an emergency due to depression, which is 30% more common among those with untreated hearing challenges.
How Accidents Impact Individuals & Families
The accidents associated with hearing loss aren’t minor accidents. However, you may notice the little accidents becoming more frequent at first. These should be a warning sign to take heed.
By getting hearing loss treated, you could prevent major accidents. Most people don’t realize how quickly an accident can turn a healthy and active person into someone dependent on others and unable to do things they love. The risks of this quick decline grow with age.
Accidental injuries are a leading cause of death and severe disability in the US.
In addition to the physical ramifications, accidents put enormous strain on families and finances. The average cost for a fall is $30 thousand. This cost goes up the older the individual is. According to AARP, around 16.6% of Americans are providing unpaid caregiver services to someone over 50.
How Getting Help for Your Hearing Can Reduce Accidents
The simple act of wearing a hearing aid can significantly reduce accident risk. Studies show this is just one of the ways that people who wear hearing aids stay happier, healthier and more active than their peers who don’t get their hearing treated.
Are you just trying to accept and deal with your hearing loss? Are you noticing yourself making more mistakes and having accidents that are out of character? Don’t wait until you have that big fall that changes your life. Find a hearing care professional and schedule a hearing test today.