During National Safety Month, Experience Hearing Center is focusing on how better hearing can keep you and your family safe in your home and out in the world.  “We know hearing aids can improve communication with others and give individuals with a hearing loss a greater sense of independence,” says Richard Leroux, BC-HIS. “These important medical devices can also improve your everyday safety.”

In your home you have different alarms to alert you of dangers: smoke detector, oven timer, a distant tornado siren, doorbell, a neighbor’s call for help, or the cry of an infant. “The ability to hear is essential to your safety and the safety of others around you – your family and friends,” says Richard.

You may not realize just how much you rely on hearing to keep yourself out of danger’s way outside your home.  Being alert and using all of your senses help keep you and those around you safe while driving in traffic, walking, or biking. “Being able to hear warning sounds like horns or emergency sirens will allow you to respond quickly, helping you avoid injury and possibly even saving your life or the life of others,” says Richard. “For example, you hear the car nearing, often before you see it.  Hearing the car before you see it round a curve gives you a few seconds to pause and look before pulling out onto the roadway or through an intersection.”

Hearing aids, for individuals with a hearing loss, also improve your balance and stability.  A study from the Washington University School of Medicine revealed that older adults performed better on standard balance tests when wearing hearing aids.  This study lends support to the idea that balance is connected to sound, and treating hearing loss can help to reduce the risk of falls.  “The inner ear is responsible for hearing and it also contains crucial balance sensors that help us to maintain our equilibrium and do things like walk, run, and move without falling,” says Richard.

Keep yourself and others safe from dangers at home, at work, and around town.  Get your hearing screened annually.  Experience Hearing Center provides free hearing screenings in Nevada, Monday – Thursday (appointment recommended) and in El Dorado Springs Cedar County Memorial Hospital’s Speciality Clinic on the third Friday of each month (by appointment only).

Richard Leroux is a Nationally Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist at Experience Hearing Center, 1505 W. Austin Blvd., Nevada, MO, 417-667-5566.