Hearing Issues and Balance: Understanding the Connection
Did you know that hearing issues and balance problems are closely related? One will often trigger the other. Researchers are increasingly understanding the link between hearing issues and balance. Furthermore knowing more about the connection between the two can help you better assess any fall risks and reduce your chances of injury. Read our blog to learn more about the connection!
How Does Balance “Work?”
Structures in the inner ear make up your vestibular system. The labyrinth and the cochlea are vital organs that work together and are responsible for the body’s sense of hearing and balance. The labyrinth named for its maze-like characteristics consists of complex tissue and bone. The cochlea is the tiny, spiral-shaped part and is responsible for hearing. The vestibular system works in tandem with your visual system. It lets your body know its position relative to the earth and gravity. Thus allowing you to coordinate your movements properly. Symptoms such as dizziness, floating, unsteadiness, blurred vision, disorientation, confusion, faintness, and vertigo may indicate a balance disorder.
What’s the Link Between Hearing Issues and Balance?
An article in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine suggests that there is an association between hearing issues and balance problems increasing the risk of falls. How? Many conditions affect those vital organs in your inner ear mentioned above. One of the most common is Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s disease can cause hearing loss, dizziness, and ringing in the ears. Similarly, physical injuries or inner ear infections may also affect both hearing and balance. The key is that hearing issues may, as a result, lead to hearing loss. Consequently, leading to balance disorders and a higher risk of falls. Additionally, every 10 decibels of hearing loss increases your chance of falling.
Treatment for Hearing Issues/Hearing Loss
If you ever experience dizziness or other signs of balance problems like blurred vision, disorientation, or faintness, see your doctor right away. As part of your exam you can request a hearing screening. They may refer you to an audiologist for a complete hearing exam and evaluation. Audiologists use a wide range of diagnoses and treatment options. Hearing aids are the typical starting point of treatment for hearing loss. While you may think there is a stigma to wearing the devices, today’s technology offers so many options! Further, when you see a clinical audiologist they spend the time reviewing all your choices. Hence, making sure you receive the very best fit for your needs and lifestyle. The result above all? In short, effective treatment for your hearing issues and balance problems.
If you are experiencing any hearing issues contact a member of the HASA audiology team. We are the only non-profit hearing health facility in Maryland! When you visit HASA you can be certain you will receive the very best personalized care, regardless of your financial ability. We are connecting Marylanders to their worlds by providing quality, equitable hearing healthcare.