Did you know that hearing loss increases your risk of an accidental injury? When you think about it, it makes sense: hearing loss lowers your awareness of what’s going on around you. One study uncovered exactly how much more likely an accidental injury is for people with a hearing impairment.
About the Study
The study was published in May of 2018 in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery. The research was conducted by experts at the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, Irvine and the Department of Otolaryngology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School.
The purpose of the study was to uncover whether hearing difficulty was associated with a risk of accidental injury.
Researchers used data from the CDC collected for the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) between 2007 and 2015. For the survey, participants ranked their hearing abilities as excellent, good, a little trouble hearing, moderate trouble hearing, a lot of trouble hearing of deaf. Types of injury were classified as driving-related, work-related or leisure/sport-related.
Of the total number, 2.8% of participants reported an accidental injury at some point in the previous three months.
The types of injuries are broken down as follows:
- Driving-related injury: There was no statistical difference based on hearing status.
- Work-related injury: The groups with good hearing and little trouble hearing were more likely to report an injury than those with excellent hearing or more severe hearing problems.
- Leisure/sport-related injury: 0.8% of those with excellent hearing reported an injury compared to 1.4% of those who considered themselves deaf.
Overall, the rate of accidental injury increased from 2.4% for those with excellent hearing to 4.8% for those who reported a lot of trouble hearing.
Preventing an Injury
Researchers suggest that, “Increased awareness about hearing difficulty and its proper screening and management may assist in decreasing accidental injury.”
This claim is backed by another study, published in September 2019 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. This study found that use of hearing aids is associated with a delayed diagnosis of injurious falls. To prevent an injury when shopping at Southwood Landscape and Garden Center, call the hearing aid experts at Eastern Oklahoma ENT today.