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Could Your Hearing Aids Keep You Out Of The Emergency Room?

Emergency department building sign closeup, with sky reflecting in the glass.

While millions of Americans have been diagnosed with or report hearing loss, only a fraction of those chooses to treat that hearing impairment with hearing aids. That is despite the growing list of benefits now associated with using hearing aids that now includes a possible connection with emergency room visits.
Could you avoid a costly visit to the emergency room by wearing hearing aids? According to insights from a recent study, the answer is yes, and it’s just one of those many reasons to wear hearing aids.
While most people choose to have a hearing evaluation and purchase hearing aids due to hearing loss, a growing body of research points to the effectiveness of hearing aids in preventing many secondary concerns including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Increased risk of falls
  • The negative impact to income
  • Reduced social interaction

The initial cost of hearing aids may cause people to question their need to hear better, but the value of hearing aids beyond their primary use is hard to argue. The latest research findings further underscore what a smart investment hearing aids can be for overall health, wellness and possibly your budget’s bottom line.
Hearing Aids Could Help You Avoid The Emergency Room
A recent study, published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, outlined the findings of researchers who studied data of over 1,300 adults aged 65 to 85 with severe hearing loss. The conclusions hinted at possible connections between the use of hearing aids and emergency room visits. The highlights of those findings include:

  • Only 45 percent of the 1,300 adults used a hearing aid.
  • Those who did use a hearing aid were less likely to have gone to an emergency room or spent time in the hospital within the past year.
  • Among seniors who had been hospitalized, those with hearing aids spent an average of half a day less in the hospital than those without hearing aids.
  • Those with hearing aids were more likely to have gone to a doctor’s office in the past year than those without hearing aids, potentially reducing the risk of a costly emergency room visit.

While researchers are quick to point out that findings like these don’t prove cause and effect, the potential connections are hard to ignore.
The Importance Of Hearing Aids For Seniors
Over 37 million Americans report some degree of hearing loss, and many of those are seniors who choose to go untreated. It may be for financial reasons, a reluctance to receive treatment, fear of doctors or something else, but there is no denying that untreated hearing loss is about so much more than just staying in the conversation. It is proving so crucial that policymakers are now trying to make it easier than ever to get hearing aids by pushing for increased insurance coverage and treatment alternatives.
Research findings like these that dig into the connections between hearing loss and quality of life continue to highlight just how valuable an investment hearing aids can be – potentially even saving people time, money and their overall health in the long run.