Researchers at University of California, Irvine examined data collected from over 232 millions of respondents in the National Health Interview Survey, to find out the relationship between accidental injuries and hearing health.
The respondents ranked their hearing health status into a number of categories, from excellent to deaf. Researchers then investigated the respondents’ history of accidental injury, the leading cause of illness and death in the US. Compared to normal hearing adults, those with hearing difficulty were up to 1.9 times likely to suffer accidental injury, with the odds increasing as the ability to hear properly decreased. Injuries suffered during leisure activities were most strongly correlated with the rise in the risk of injury.
“We found that leisure-related injuries were particularly interesting since individuals may not consider that a high-risk occasion for injury, and may be paying even less attention to their hearing difficulties,” said Dr. Neil Bhattacharya, senior study author and otolaryngologist at Bringham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston. “Ultimately, hearing loss may be more consequential than one might think.”
The risk of accidental injuries can be alleviated by an increased awareness of hearing difficulty, along with proper hearing health care and management of hearing issues the patients may have.