How Hearing Loss and Falling Are Related

  1. Beltone Audiology | Hearing loss & Falling

It’s no secret that falling can harm your body. Of course, there are many variables that could come into play when determining how much damage a fall could cause to someone. These are the height of which you fall from, how fast you are falling, which part you land on, and the nature of the object/s that strikes you during the process of it all.

So with all these factors how do we actually minimize the possible injuries brought on by this descend? The answer is to avoid facing this drop at all. These situations usually don’t intentionally happen, so the best we could do is to understand how these accidents occur.

The Link Between Hearing Loss & Falling

It has been discovered that those with hearing loss are much more susceptible to falling. Though it may not seem clear at first how this is, research and theories brought on by experts may shed some light for us.

A study done on 2,017 subjects who were 40 to 69 years old, revealed that 14.3 percent of them who had an auditory impairment which was greater than 25 decibels, experienced collapsing within the following 12 months. This project further showed that every 10 decibels of a hearing disability increased the chances of falling by 1.4%.

Another experiment had 14 hearing impaired participants engage in exercises to further test this association. With eyes covered they proceeded with the trials. It was then seen that both those with switched off and switched on hearing aids were able to do equally well in the initial tasks. Nevertheless, as things got harder those with operating hearing devices showed to perform two times better in contrast to their counterparts.

What the Professionals Say

Professionals speculate that the added chances of falling for these set of people were due to the fact that the vestibular system is found within the ear. This is in charge of managing our balance and spatial orientation. Components of the inner ear are one of the things that comprise it. Therefore if these have complications then it would be expected that there would be compromises too with the vestibular.

Most of us may underestimate the dangers of falling and may think that so as long as we do not engage in dicey interests, like skydiving, this isn’t really something that should alarm us. We may not recommend fearing this but we do advise that you take it seriously enough to take necessary precautions to avoid it.

For those above 65, this is the foremost reason for accidental deaths. In 2009 alone 20,000 elderly people died from falling. It may be small in comparison to the overall population of the United States, but there is no doubt that it is still a significant amount.

It would be then wise to take care of your ears, not just so you could listen to different sounds, but for your overall safety and well-being. Avoid exposing it to powerful noises and always adhere to protective gear required for them. For more information on the effects and complications of hearing loss, call Beltone Audiology at (888) 210-5846.