The Surprising Connection Between Hearing Loss and Falls
Protect you balance
We’ve got some eye-opening news about the link between hearing loss and falls, especially as we age.
Recent research from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine suggests that untreated hearing loss could be a factor contributing to an issue we all want to avoid – falls, especially among older patients.
Here’s the scoop: when individuals with hearing loss wear their hearing aids, their balance test scores improve. This means that hearing aids might be more than just devices for better hearing; they could actually help with our balance too!
If you have mild hearing loss, it nearly triples the risk of falling. Why? Because hearing loss makes your brain work harder to catch all the sounds, leaving fewer brain resources for keeping you steady on your feet.
And that’s not all – hearing loss limits your access to important sounds around you. Imagine not hearing warning signals! Naturally, this increases the chances of tripping and falling. For every extra 10 decibels of hearing loss, the risk of falling goes up by 140 percent.
The limited hearing sensitivity also restricts access to crucial auditory cues necessary for environmental awareness, potentially leading to an increased likelihood of tripping and falling.
But here’s the good news: falls are preventable!
If you’re older, it’s crucial to get your hearing checked every year. If hearing aids are recommended, know that they can do more than just improve your hearing – they can reduce the risk of falls too.
Healthcare providers and fall prevention
Falls among older patients are preventable, and as healthcare providers, we share the responsibility of addressing this multifaceted issue.
Sound information plays a larger role in maintaining balance than previously thought.
We encourage you to share this information with your senior patients, stressing the importance of an annual hearing assessment. If hearing aids are recommended, emphasise the crucial role they play in improving hearing sensitivity and reducing cognitive demand on the brain, thereby minimising the risk of falls.
Read more about falls and injury prevention.
So, don’t let hearing loss sneak up on you and jeopardise your balance.
Book an appointment with us to get those ears checked, and if hearing aids are in the cards, wear them proudly – they’re not just about hearing; they’re about keeping you on your feet!
Take care and stay balanced!