Hearing Loss and Your Balance

 

Did you know that our ears play a critical role in our ability to balance? Strangely enough, damage to our inner ears can result in damage to our ability to balance. If you are experiencing issues with balance, like dizziness or blurred vision, you may have a balance disorder.

With the variety balance disorders, there are also a variety of treatments available. But if you experience hearing loss alongside a balance disorder, research suggests that wearing hearing aids may be of help.

What is a Balance Disorder?

Each year, over 30 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with a balance disorder. According to the National Insitute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), a balance disorder can be defined as “a condition that makes you feel unsteady or dizzy.” Symptoms of a balance disorder include dizziness or vertigo, feeling as if you are floating or falling, the inability to walk in a straight line, blurred vision, or feeling disoriented.

Ear infections, head injuries, and medications are only a few of the potential factors that can lead to a balance disorder. Most balance disorders can be attributed to damage to the inner ear or brain, but issues with the skeletal or visual systems can also be causal factors. Outside of damage to the body, age increases one’s chance of developing a balance disorder. Nevertheless, many people acquire them without probable cause.

Most balance disorders are caused by damage to the inner ear and brain because the partnership between the two greatly contributes to our ability to balance. Inside your ear, the vestibular system is responsible for signaling your brain when your head rotates or tilts from side-to-side. These signals are necessary for your body to maintain balance when walking or running, as well as visual focus. When these signals malfunction, one will experience balance disorder symptoms.

How are Balance Disorders and Hearing Loss Connected?

In 2016, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine published a study in the Laryngoscope, which explored the relationship between hearing loss and balance. Through a comprehensive literature review, the researchers found that senior individuals with hearing loss were more than twice as likely to fall, as compared to those without hearing loss. While hearing loss does not necessarily cause balance disorders, these findings show that hearing loss contributes to one’s chances of losing balance.

What if I have Hearing Loss and a Balance Disorder?

If you have hearing loss and have been diagnosed with a balance disorder, you may benefit significantly from purchasing hearing aids. In 2014, researchers at Washington University in St. Luis published a study that assessed the postural stability of hearing aid wearers over the age of 65. The results revealed that participants’ performed significantly better when wearing hearing aids than when not wearing hearing aids.

Convinced that hearing aids may be right for you? Whether you’re looking for new or refurbished hearing aids, Advanced Affordable Hearing can help you to find a pair that will meet your needs, and at a better price than your local provider.

To start your journey to improved hearing, contact us now


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