Study shows use of hearing aids can reduce risk of death by 24%

A new study conducted by the University of Southern California and published by The Lancet identified hearing loss as an independent risk factor for negative health outcomes and mortality.

That means people with hearing loss still play a role in improving their safety by simply wearing devices to help improve their hearing.

Scientists reviewed questionnaires completed by 1,863 adults with hearing loss and determined the risk of mortality was lower among adults who reported regular hearing aid use compared to those who never never used the devices. Findings were consistent when adjusting for age and severity of hearing loss, the study explained.

When I first read this story I was reminded of a horrible accident several years ago when my grandmother-in-law was hit by a train while walking in her Milwaukee neighborhood.

The wind was blowing briskly that fall day, which created an annoying whistle through her hearing aids. So, she turned them off and didn’t hear the approaching freight train rolling through her neighborhood before it tossed her several feet away from the tracks.

Some people who have hearing aids do not like to wear them because they are unsightly and inconvenient, or the batteries need replacing. However, researchers noted hearing aids are a first-line intervention for most individuals with hearing loss, and their use has been shown to improve perceived disability from hearing loss and quality of life.

The full scientific study can be found in The Lancet.