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Hearing loss linked to higher risk of accidental injuries

It makes perfect sense that people who have trouble seeing well are more likely to experience accidental injuries than individuals with good eyesight. The results of a recent study show there is a similar connection to the likelihood of accidental injuries for people who have trouble hearing.

From 2007 to 2015, researchers asked more than 270,000 adults across the nation about their hearing and whether they had sustained an accidental injury within the past three months. The most common mishaps for adults are injuries sustained in the workplace, at home or in car accidents.

Based on the results of their annual surveys, researchers determined that of the approximately 232 million adults in the U.S., about 6.6 million suffer accidental injuries each year.

People who have "a little trouble hearing" are 60 percent more likely to have such an injury, Reuters reports. People with "moderate" hearing problems are 70 percent more likely to be hurt. Those with more significant hearing difficulties are 90 percent more likely to suffer accidental injuries, the researchers found.

The Harvard Medical School researcher who lead the study team said, "When people have hearing loss, they may be less likely to hear warning signs of, for example, a bicycle or motorcycle coming towards them." He added that "They may be less likely to hear a car horn or someone yelling at them to 'duck' if a baseball is headed their direction."

About 16 percent of adults report some hearing difficulties, with about 3 percent of all adults reporting injuries as a result of their hearing.

A researcher who was not part of the study told Reuters, "We do know that falls, being struck by objects, vehicle crashes, and being caught in equipment are among the most common injuries in U.S. workplaces, and that risk for all of these injury types could plausibly be higher among those with hearing loss."

If you have sustained an on-the-job injury and been denied North Carolina workers' compensation, contact an attorney experienced in workers' comp appeals to discuss your legal options.

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