Hearing and balance are two peas in a pod. Balance is intricately connected to the inner ear, and if you have balance issues, you might have hearing loss (and vice versa). If you notice symptoms of either, it’s always a good idea to talk to your primary care physician or audiologist.
Why go see an audiologist if you experience dizziness or loss of coordination with hearing loss? “Hearing and balance disorders are complex with medical, psychological, physical, social, educational, and employment implications.” It often takes an audiologist — well versed in the diagnosis and treatment of not only hearing loss, but also its associated physical manifestations — to figure out the best way forward.
It’s important to not waste any time if you notice any differences in your balance. A fall due to uneven equilibrium is never ideal, especially if you’re older. It can be frustrating, costly, and even permanently debilitating. A Johns Hopkins study showed that falls are increasing among senior citizens in the US. Researcher Elizabeth Burns, at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, says that “Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among adults aged 65 and older.”
How to Help Yourself
1. If you have a hearing loss and balance problems, hearing aids can usually help compensate for your balance issues.. The more you can hear your environment, the better you’re able to interact with the world around you.
2. Though it may seem to go without saying, keep your floor clear of any refuse or piles, don’t walk around in the dark, and don’t feel ashamed to walk with a cane or walker if you need one.
Regular Hearing Assessments
It is REM’s belief — one we share with patients in a readily available handout — that regular hearing assessments** could be just what you need to decrease the risk of falls, increase your longevity, and enjoy a better overall quality of life. Please reach out and call us or your doctor for more information.