Did you know there is a link between your hearing health and the potential for dangerous falls? The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and is responsible for your sense of balance, detecting movements to provide awareness of spatial orientation. What many don’t know is there is a link between hearing and balance—multiple studies have confirmed that untreated hearing loss is linked with imbalance and falls.
Each year, ONE OUT OF FOUR adults will take a serious fall.
- Thirty million older adults fall annually—resulting in about 30,000 deaths.
- Individuals with mild hearing loss (25 decibels) are THREE TIMES as likely to experience a fall.
- Patients experiencing imbalance issues should be referred for a hearing evaluation.
A 2012 study by Johns Hopkins University determined that even a mild hearing loss triples the risk of falls among the elderly. Results also suggested that treating hearing loss with hearing devices can help reduce this risk of falling.
Another study published in 2014 by the Washington University School of Medicine confirmed that enhancing hearing improves the balance of adults experiencing hearing loss. In the study, patients who wore hearing devices performed better on balance tests when their devices were on versus when they were off.
Professor of Otolaryngology, Timothy Hullar, M.D., who led the Washington University study, suggested this was due to more than just improved alertness; he hypothesized that we use sound to tell when we are in space, similar to how sight helps orient us. When hearing is compromised, our balance can suffer.
To learn more or schedule a hearing evaluation, call Victory Hearing & Balance at (512) 443-3500.