Think back to those scenes in action movies when a character hears an explosion, no matter how close or far they are, they experience a ringing in their ears and a loss of balance. It’s more than just the explosion that’s causing them to lose balance. Whether you’ve seen it, heard of it, or experienced it yourself, this is because there is a connection between hearing loss and balance.
According to research, hearing loss can significantly increase a person’s chance of falling. For most people, especially younger people, teens, and so on, this might not be as big of an issue. However, it still presents a particular danger.
When it comes to older individuals, the risk of falling is a lot more dangerous and even potentially fatal. Falling itself may not be that bad, but it adds another layer of danger depending on your location and what you might fall on.
To better understand what’s happening to you or your loved one, here are some other ways hearing loss affects your balance:
Hearing Requires Brain Power
For people that are just now experiencing hearing loss or slowly losing their hearing, it might be hard to determine that it’s happening at all. Increased falling and loss of balance are some of the common signs. When you are struggling to hear your surroundings, your brain tries to overcompensate and work even harder.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t help you hear any better. Instead, it takes away from the task at hand—like walking—and leads to possible falls or loss of balance. For people with normal hearing, it’s easy to take things like walking and balance for granted.
For the most part, it’s something most people don’t even think about. When one of your senses is compromised, the brainpower dedicated to things that are second nature gets used up.
Hearing and Balance are Affected By Aging
Of course, for the elderly, hearing loss and balance problems are more of an inevitable and natural occurrence. Age-related hearing loss has been linked to the deterioration of receptors in the inner ear. When you move your head, you might find yourself dizzy and unable to hear well.
For some people, age-related hearing loss can occur as early as their 40s. Most Americans past 40 fail the balance test, indicating that a hearing problem may be setting in. Of course, hearing loss and inner ear problems do not always occur together. But there are instances when they do.
Sounds Assist Your Balance
Sound can directly affect one’s balance and either increase or decrease your chances of falling. According to researchers, the type of sound is essential to helping one’s balance. Think of it as something physical to help your mind and body. Just like how visual cues and elements can ground you during yoga, the same goes for sounds.
In one study, researchers found that people had a harder time staying balanced and standing still on uneven ground when they heard nothing but a deep quiet. Those that could listen to sounds were able to stand taller and easier.
The Bottom Line
For people that experience hearing loss and balance problems, it can be very difficult, disconcerting, and even frightening. The best way to prevent this from happening or lower its risk is by using hearing aids.
Wearing hearing aids can make your everyday life a little bit safer. It’s important to note that even the slightest hearing loss can affect your balance. This can be a massive problem for people that need this skill, like athletes, service workers, and more.
If you are looking for the best hearing aids, we can help you. Hear More Associates are the most trusted hearing care specialists throughout Lexington and Greater Boston, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Our goal is to help our patients live comfortably to the fullest. Schedule an appointment with us today!