For many of our clients, who are either older or less capable of fully caring for their own personal healthcare needs, we like to pass along helpful information.
Today we read an interesting article on CNN.com. The article, In Assisted Living, a Simple Culprit for Hearing Issues and Vertigo: Earwax we learned that earwax buildup can collect to the point where it can completely block the ear canal. This is called impaction.
And in fact, in 2016 (according to the article) federal Medicare recipients logged nearly 1.7 million earwax removal services at a cost of more than $51 million — those are astonishing numbers!
So, apparently, earway buildup is much more common that we think and can lead to hearing reduction, hearing loss, vertigo and falls. Falls are a major contributor to hospital visits for older Americans. Severe falls can lead to broken, ankles legs and hips or reduced overall mobility — the core reasons why older adults end up needing power wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
From the article: “That greasy, often gross, buildup occurs more often in older ears than those of the young, experts say. And when it goes unrecognized, it can pose serious problems, especially for the 2.2 million people who live in U.S. nursing homes and assisted living centers.“
“The excessive amount [of earwax] can cause hearing loss or ringing in your ears. Some people experience vertigo, which increases the risk of falling,” said Jackie Clark, a board-certified audiologist who is president of the American Academy of Audiology. “Right now, we see some correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline.”
More helpful info:
From Harvard Health: Got an Earful, Here’s Some Advice
From Hearing Aid Doctors: How Earwax Can Cause Permanent Hearing Loss