Hearing loss does more than affect your ability to hear what someone is saying. Certain hearing-related issues, such as Meniere’s disease, could affect balance and motion. Could hearing aids help issues with balance? According to a new study from the Washington University School of Medicine, the answer is yes.
What the Research Shows
For the study, researchers looked at subjects with hearing loss between the ages of 65 and 91. They found that those wearing hearing aids in both ears did better on balance tests.
This study is the first to show a connection between balance and hearing. This is when compared to what’s involved with the inner ear balance system. This is especially significant for older adults with hearing loss. Improving balance can reduce the risk of falling.
Creating Clearer Auditory Reference Points
The study thinks the results go beyond having better results because of the hearing aids. The professor of otolaryngology suggests the hearing aids helped participants. They created an auditory reference point. This allowed them to improve their stability. In other words, hearing with fitted and adjusted hearing aids could help with balance. And, their balance could become more accurate.
Testing Balance and Hearing
All participants performed various balance tests. They did this both with and without their hearing aids turned on. With the hearing aids turned on, those with balance issues completed the tests for longer. With a foam pad test, they balanced on the pad for about 17 seconds with hearing aids off. When the hearing aids were on, this average time increased to 26 seconds.
What the Results Mean for Hearing Aid Wearers
The participants could tell whether their hearing aids were on or off. Researchers mixed things up among the subjects by varying when hearing aids were on and off. Researchers hope to move forward with a larger study soon. The results suggest hearing aids can improve quality of life beyond being able to hear.
Call Us Today
Are you living with some degree of hearing loss right now? If so, visit Atkins Hearing Center. Our hearing specialists will check your hearing and hearing loss. We will address any concerns you have about balance or other hearing issues. We’ll find a personalized solution for your needs, budget, and preferences.
Call us today to set up an appointment at our hearing center.