Can Untreated Hearing Loss Lead to Injury?


If you have hearing loss in San Diego, you’re already at a disadvantage when it comes to daily communication. People with impaired hearing also have a higher risk of experiencing a variety of physical, social and psychological conditions. One of these is accidental injury.

Hearing Loss & Safety

row of safety hats

The National Health Interview Survey found that 2.8 percent of Americans experienced an accidental injury during an average three-month period. Those with hearing loss

According to data collected between 2007 and 2015 from the National Health Interview Survey, 2.8 percent of Americans suffered an accidental injury during a typical three-month period. The risk for adults with hearing loss was nearly double that – approximately five percent of these individuals were involved in an accident.

We depend on our ears to keep us safe. Hearing loss can interfere with your ability to hear approaching danger and react in time to avoid it. Police sirens, car horns, smoke detectors and warning shouts are all designed to alert you to danger; consequently, when you miss these cues, your odds of sustaining an injury go up.

The study found that most injuries occurred while driving, participating in leisure activities or working. There was no specific breakdown between categories, but there were some interesting findings:

  • People with moderate to severe hearing loss were most most at risk for accidental injury during sports or leisure activities.
  • These same individuals experienced fewer on-the-job injuries.
  • Those with less severe forms of hearing impairment had only a slightly higher risk of suffering an injury.

Researchers believe the patients with the worst hearing are more cognizant of their disability and take extra safety precautions at work, explaining their lower incidences of job-related injuries.

The study does have some faults. Degrees of hearing loss were self-reported, so the data is subjective in nature. Despite this, the trend is obvious – hearing loss increases your risk of accidental injury.

How to Reduce Your Risk

Because venturing outside in a suit of armor went out of vogue about 800 years ago, you’ll have to find more creative ways to protect yourself from accidental injury.

First and foremost should be a visit with a San Diego audiologist. If you suspect hearing loss but haven’t been diagnosed, a skilled hearing professional can help you find a treatment solution that will improve your communication abilities and help keep you safe! Many times, hearing loss develops so gradually, people aren’t even aware of a problem. It’s better to find out you have a hearing problem in a doctor’s office than in the middle of a busy intersection!

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