Hearing loss is often accepted as a natural part of aging. While it’s true that 1 in 3 adults in the US between the ages of 65 – 74 has a hearing loss, hearing loss can occur at any age.
The most recognizable symptom is difficulty hearing. But hearing loss affects more than just your ability to hear the world around you. Researchers have found a link between hearing loss and accidental injuries.
Link Between Hearing Loss and Accidental Injuries
If you’re one of the millions of people affected by hearing loss, you’re familiar with the challenges that it can present. One challenge that you may not have considered is your safety. We’re taking a closer look at the link between hearing loss and accidental injuries.
A team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston led a study where they investigated the link between hearing loss and accidental injuries. Commenting on the results, lead study author, Dr. Neil Bhattacharyya, said, “Hearing is a special sense that plays an important role in warning us of danger in our surroundings.”
The Brigham and Women’s Hospital team analyzed data from the US National Health Interview Survey. They found 6.6 million respondents had experienced an accident in the previous three months. Of these, people with poor hearing were twice as likely to have suffered an injury over people who reported having excellent hearing.
How Can Hearing Loss Leave You Accident Prone?
The study doesn’t implicitly prove that hearing loss caused the risks of accidents to rise. It does, however, illustrate “a strong relationship between poorer hearing and accidental injury, especially since the rate of injury increased steadily as the reported hearing worsened.”
The data highlighted that injuries occurred more commonly during leisure activities. In a leisure setting, background noise can be excessive, and distractions can be everywhere.
You may have someone telling you “watch out”, or perhaps someone is approaching you at speed from behind. A hearing loss can make this auditory information all the more difficult to hear, particularly in a noisy environment.
Tips to Help Avoid Accidents with Hearing Loss
If you have a hearing loss, these tips can help you avoid accidents:
- Wear your hearing aid. Make sure that it’s working correctly, and that the settings are appropriate for the environment that you’re in. If you would like the settings on your devices checked, please do contact our hearing healthcare specialists.
- Pay attention to your hearing, and watch for any changes in your environment. Pay particular attention if someone tells you that you’re missing things being said to you.
- Take regular breaks in a quiet space. This will give your ears (and brain!) a time to rest.
- Let people know about your hearing loss. By giving people a heads-up, they can let you know if they’ve noticed or heard something before you may have.
Regular hearing assessments are the best way to stay on top of your baseline hearing. Identifying changes to your hearing can help reduce your risk of accidents. If you want to learn more, get in touch today. Book an appointment with our hearing healthcare specialists by calling (203) 208-3678 or request an appointment online.