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Save your hearing and keep your balance

Aids for health and well-being

Hearing loss can be much more than inconvenient, especially for a senior citizen. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders you have a one in three chance of diminished hearing if you are between 65 and 74 and nearly a 50 percent chance if you are 75 and older. This post is part of our discussion of hearing loss among the elderly.

Hearing loss increases your risk for a serious fall

We at Stay at Home take fall risks among the elderly very, very seriously.

When we work with a senior citizen one of our primary focuses is fall prevention, and for good reason. In one recent year, falls took the lives of more than 20,000 senior citizens and sent more than 2 million to the emergency room.

We’ve discussed a variety of circumstances that increase the fall risk for a senior citizen, including medications that affect your blood pressure and weakened vision. Today, we add hearing loss.

According to a 2012 study, the risk of an elderly person falling over the course of a year rises by 40 percent with each 10 decibel loss of hearing (half the volume of rustling leaves).

It’s not too difficult to say how this might be the case. The inner ear, which controls balance, can be affected by hearing loss, and each of your senses can in some way help prevent falls.

Fortunately, most of us have options open to us when we suffer from hearing loss. In other words, we can get tested, get a hearing aid, and get in the habit of wearing it. After all, the inconvenience of a hearing aid is nothing compared to the hardship of broken bones and hospital stays.


Information for this post comes from Andy Houck, owner and administrator of Stay at Home of Loudon.

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