A Link Between Hearing Loss and Accidental Injury

In Hearing Health, Hearing Loss, Hearing Loss Causes, Research by Bary E. Williams Au.D.

Untreated hearing loss means you miss out on a lot of things. Birds chirping, the whisper of “I love you,” the laughter of young children. Poor hearing health affects all parts of your body, can lead to isolation, depression, and a decrease in cognitive abilities There is an increasing amount of information that supports a correlation between hearing loss and an increased risk of accidental injury. If you are living with untreated hearing loss, read on to learn more about this correlation and schedule an appointment with us at Exceptional Hearing Care.


Studies show risks of accidental injury with untreated hearing loss

Analysis of data accumulated by National Health Interview Surveys done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives credence to links between untreated hearing loss and increased injuries in adults. Even people with a just a slight hearing loss issue are at a higher risk for accidental injury, according to several studies. The data involved analyzed accidental injuries using a cross-section of adults.

Injuries were reported by 2.8% of the adults over a three-month period and the odds of injury were twice as likely for adults who self-reported they had hearing issues. According to the study 16% of the people in the United States have some type of hearing loss. Those reporting hearing loss were likely to be injured playing sports or engaging in leisure activities.

A study co-author noted: “One can assume if someone’s hearing is not great, if something comes their way like a baseball or if they’re cycling out there and there’s a car horn getting close to them, they may not be able to hear that, and that theoretically can increase the possibility of getting injured.”
This is unfortunate since sports and athletic leisure activities are important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well as social interaction.

There were also reports of driving incidents related to hearing loss, although those were fewer than the other activities and study authors concede more research is needed in this area. The greater the hearing loss, the greater the likelihood of an accident at work, and in the areas of leisure and sporting activities. Those who reported a minor hearing loss were 60% more likely to have an injury, those who reported a moderate loss were 70% more likely, and those who said they had “a lot” of hearing loss or were “deaf” were 90% more likely to have an accident


Injury and leisure activities

Many of us have active lives, whether it is participating in leisure activities with friends or pursuing club sports or running after the grandkids. With untreated hearing loss, there is an increased risk of having an accident doing something that is supposed to be “social” and “relaxing.”

As we grow older, we may begin to experience issues with mobility and vision – couple that with the likelihood of injury due to hearing loss and our favorite activities may not be as enjoyable as they once were.  Indeed, hearing loss is often a natural part of aging (known as presbycusis), and there is no reason to avoid treatment. Think of your hearing in a similar vein as another important sense: your vision. If you experience issues with your sight, you visit a provider and get glasses or contact lenses to treat the vision impairment. Treating hearing loss, as with treating vision, brings significant benefits to your overall life and well-being.


Hearing loss and increased risk of falls

The risk of falling increases with untreated hearing loss, so if you enjoy hiking, rock climbing, fishing or solitary outdoor activities, this could be particularly dangerous. Although your brain can compensate for many things, if it is trying to process noise and working overtime because of hearing loss, there’s less brain power to process other things. Important processes like balance and depth perception are affected.


Better safety through better hearing

Are you concerned about your hearing abilities? Is untreated hearing loss affecting your happiness and health? At Exceptional Hearing Care, we have 30 years of experience in treating hearing loss. Call today for a hearing test at Exceptional Hearing Care. We provide comprehensive hearing tests and hearing aid fittings, and we offer a 14-day free trial period for hearing devices.

Bary E. Williams Au.D.
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