Are you over 65? Do you experience visual impairments? Is your hearing on the decline?
If you answered yes, then your risk of falling is significantly high.
In fact, approximately one-third of individuals over 65 have experienced a fall.
Falls can result in mild to severe injuries for seniors, such as hip injuries, fractures, head trauma, and, in some cases, even death.
Can hearing loss increase the risk of falls?
Research from Johns Hopkins University in the United States shows that even mild hearing loss can triple the risk of falling compared to those with normal hearing. The study also found that for every 10dB increase in hearing loss, the likelihood of falling increases by 1.4 times. This could be attributed to the reduced perception of the environment in older individuals with hearing loss, making it harder to maintain balance and significantly increasing the chances of tripping and falling.
Here are 5 tips to reduce the risk of falls:
Early Intervention for Hearing Loss According to a study from the Washington University School of Medicine, individuals with hearing loss who wear hearing aids show better balance test performance compared to when the aids are turned off. Improving hearing through devices like hearing aids or cochlear implants may reduce the risk of falls in seniors by providing auditory information as a reference point for better balance. Therefore, it is recommended that seniors undergo annual hearing tests, promptly address any hearing loss, and consider hearing aid options. Explore Chosgo Hearing Aids.
Regular Exercise, Especially Strength and Flexibility Training Strength training is crucial for maintaining muscle strength to support the aging body. Yoga and tai chi are excellent exercise options for seniors due to their slow pace, moderate intensity, and ability to improve balance and flexibility. Regular participation in these activities is advised for individuals aged 65 and above to effectively reduce the risk of falls.
Proper Medication Management Review all medications you are taking, follow medical prescriptions, and avoid self-prescribing. Some medications may cause drowsiness or dizziness, especially when taken on an empty stomach or in conjunction with other drugs. Ensure awareness of potential side effects and modify dosage or administration as advised.
Regular Vision Check-ups Visual impairments, combined with hearing loss, can significantly increase the risk of falls. It is recommended to have an annual eye examination.
Remove Home Hazards Half of all falls in seniors occur at home. Improving the home environment can effectively reduce the risk of falls. Suggestions include removing potential obstacles, such as loose carpets; enhancing lighting in all rooms, especially in areas prone to falls; installing handrails where necessary, such as in bathrooms and hallways; and making items easily accessible to avoid reaching or climbing.
Falls are a leading cause of accidental death in individuals over 65 and can result in significant disability. Fear of falling can lead to reduced physical activity, further increasing the risk of future falls. It's a vicious cycle. Seniors are encouraged to take preventive measures starting now to minimize future risks.