Do Hearing Aids
Improve Our Safety?
As we age, the way we move through the world changes. Sometimes those changes are a good thing – more wisdom and understanding of the world can only be a good thing. But some of those changes brought on by aging put us at risk of harm. Often, that risk is associated with changes in our physical health and well-being, especially our hearing.
A study conducted in 2015 for the American Geriatrics Society found that among Americans aged 70 to 79, those who had experienced hearing impairment were more likely to have injuries requiring a hospital visit. The greater their hearing loss, the more likely these hospital visits were, suggesting that untreated hearing loss could contribute to greater health and safety risks.
So exactly how does a hearing aid contribute to more personal safety and well-being? The ways are numerous, but there are some very important reasons why hearing aids keep us safe. If you plan to invest in a hearing aid soon, consider these ways an aid can keep you safe well into the future.
Driving and Road Safety
Driving requires our full attention and our senses on alert. We use almost all of our senses when we drive, and second only to our eyes to safe driving are our ears. Our sense of hearing alerts us of dangers that we might not see immediately. Whether that’s the sound of a honking horn, the noise of a nearby vehicle or the screech of tires in front or behind us.
When we begin to lose our hearing, we often lose our ability to perceive higher-frequency sounds first. Car horns and screeching tires are made up of higher-frequency sounds – and if our ability to perceive these sounds is diminished, our brains might not receive this crucial sensory information when it’s needed most.
A hearing aid can focus energy on these sounds, and adjust or amplify them for you to hear. That way, you’re getting every bit of sensory information you need to stay safe on the road.
One of the first things we notice when we begin to lose our hearing are within conversations and speech. Speech is made up of a combination of higher and lower frequency sounds – all of which we use to determine what letters and words a speaker is using. When we start to lose our hearing, these sounds become muddy and we often misunderstand sounds, words and phrases in speech.
Though simply asking someone to repeat themselves during a meal isn’t a risk to our safety, not all conversations are as harmless as those over the dinner table. We often find ourselves in environments where we must understand and act on what we are told quickly and effectively. We might not always have time to ask a speaker to repeat themselves!
Having the ability to understand speech easily and clearly is an important factor in our personal safety. This is an important reason to invest in a hearing aid, not to mention their penchant for improving our relationships with friends and loved ones.
Hearing Around the House
Just like driving, we rely on all of our senses to keep ourselves safe even within the home. Sight, sounds and smells can tell us when something is amiss – whether that’s a dripping faucet or a fire alarm. In these instances, we need our hearing to be alerted of possible risks, and react accordingly. Without a hearing aid, we are more likely to miss this important information with enough time to act on it.
If you or a loved one is at risk of harm because of hearing loss, it might be time for a hearing test and hearing aid consultation. Contact our team to find out how your hearing loss is affecting you – and how we can help!