Hearing loss affects much more than just our senses – it can also interfere with our balance. This is why coping with hearing loss can be a tough task, especially for the elderly. However, recent studies show that there might be a somewhat easy way to deal with this problem – using a hearing aid.
So, do hearing aids help improve your balance?
The Connection between Hearing and Balance
Our ear has three main components: the inner ear, middle ear, and the outer ear. While all three components play an important part in hearing, only the inner ear plays a role in balance.
This is because of the bony labyrinth – a system of fluid-filled tubes in the temporal bones of our skulls. Attached to this labyrinth is the vestibular nerve. This nerve is responsible for transmitting hearing and balance information to our brain. When the inner ear suffers damage, our balance is also affected because of the vestibular nerve.
Hearing Aids and Balance
According to a 2015 study by the Washington University School of Medicine, hearing aids can help solve this problem. During the study, the scientists tested the balance of 14 elderly people aged between 65 and 91 years old. For example, one of the tests was to stand on a foam pad with their eyes covered.
The researchers found that the participants who had their hearing aids turned on were able to hold their positions much longer. This study confirms earlier findings that hearing loss is connected to a higher risk of falling.
So, according to research, hearing aids help improve your balance. Don’t forget to wear your hearing aid to avoid the risk of falling.