A recent survey by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that accidental injuries are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, and that hearing problems may be associated with an increased risk for such injuries.
Of the 6.6 million US adults who experienced accidental injuries annually between 2007 and 2015, approximately 1 in 6 considered their hearing to be “less than” excellent or good. Risk of accidental injuries increased with degree of self-perceived hearing difficulty, with those with “a lot of trouble” hearing being twice as likely to have incurred an accidental injury.
Findings are from a cross-sectional analysis of responses of a nationally representative sample of 232.2 million individuals 18 years or older who participated in the National Health Interview Survey from 2007 to 2015 and responded to the questions related to the hearing and injury modules.
The main outcome variable was accidental injury in the preceding 3 months. Hearing status was self-reported as “excellent,” “good,” “a little trouble,” “moderate trouble,” “a lot of trouble,” and “deaf.” Prevalence of accidental injuries was analyzed based on demographic characteristics and hearing status. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CIs) for injuries adjusted for demographics were calculated for degrees of hearing difficulty. A secondary outcome was association of hearing status with type of injury and was classified as driving related, work related, or leisure/sport related.
Conclusions and Relevance: Hearing difficulty is significantly associated with accidental injury, especially injury related to work or leisure. Increased awareness about hearing difficulty and its proper screening and management may assist in decreasing accidental injury.
Author Affiliations: JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online March 22, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.0039
What is my next step?
Get a professional hearing evaluation. Ask friends for referrals. Stop by and visit the clinic and meet the staff prior to making an appointment. Look to see if they are invested and committed to your local community. Manufacturers such as Starkey have been around over fifty years. Their research and development are state-of-the-art. Be cautious of unbelievably low advertised prices. You want the most current technology from a dependable professional.
There is so much more than just price when it comes to your health and quality of life. You want a professional you can trust, will listen to you, and work with you for the best fit. Wherever you are in the spectrum, hearing aids can help enhance your quality of life dramatically, increase safety of accidents, and keep you in touch with the people and activities you enjoy.