If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss in San Rafael or San Francisco, there’s more at risk than a little embarrassment over a misunderstood word or two. Hearing loss has been linked to a number of physical, social and psychological ailments, including accidental injury. This makes sense when you think about the many reasons safety is dependent upon good hearing.
Safety Concerns Related to Poor Hearing
According to statistics from the National Health Interview Survey, 2.8 percent of Americans suffer an accidental injury during a typical three-month period. Adults with hearing loss are twice as likely to suffer an injury; approximately five percent of these individuals were involved in an accident. The data, collected between 2007 and 2015, make it clear to hearing-impaired California residents just how important it is to look both ways before crossing the street.
This increase in accident risk isn’t too surprising when you consider the challenges posed by hearing loss. The inability to hear danger approaching and react in time to avoid it leads to a higher rate of injury. You might not notice an approaching car, for instance, or have time to duck out of the way when an object such as a golf ball comes hurtling through the air toward you—especially if you didn’t hear the shouted “fore!” warning.
Driving May be The Biggest Risk
The majority of injuries occurred while driving, participating in leisure activities or during work. While the study listed no specific breakdown between categories, it did note that people whose hearing loss was moderate to severe had the greatest risk of accidental injury during sports or leisure activities, while those whose hearing was closer to normal experienced only a minor increase in risk.
Interestingly, individuals with severe hearing loss were less likely to experience an on-the-job injury. It may be that these folks are more aware of their loss in hearing ability and take extra precautions while at work.
The data is somewhat subjective given that degrees of hearing loss were self-reported, but the trend is apparent: hearing loss leads to a higher risk of accidental injury.
Get a Hearing Evaluation if You Suspect Hearing Loss
The most effective way to prevent accidental injury is pretty obvious: if you suspect hearing loss, schedule an appointment with an audiologist in San Rafael or San Francisco to get your hearing checked. Don’t rely on your own judgment; hearing loss develops gradually, and many people are unaware of a problem. You don’t want an accident to be your wake-up call!