Understanding the connection between hearing and balance.
De-cluttering and downsizing a home can be a dizzying process. The overwhelming stress can even throw us off-balance. However, if you are reorganizing and notice you are clumsier than usual; your body could be signaling something more.
Our balance system, also known as the vestibular system, helps us stay upright and allows us to move without falling. Our balance and equilibrium are controlled through signals from the eyes, inner ear and sensory systems to the brain.
Research by Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging revealed that hearing loss can alter our balance and increase the likelihood of falls. Hurting yourself in a fall can prevent you from simplifying your life. Before tackling any laborious projects, especially those on a ladder, make sure you are protected. Here are a few ways you can reduce the risk.
- If you have medications that make you sleepy or dizzy check with your doctor to see if there are alternatives without those side effects.
- Have your vision checked at least once a year, as poor vision can increase your risk.
- Have your hearing tested annually and use hearing aids when recommended.Because our balance system is located primarily in the inner ear, a hearing evaluation is a common diagnostic procedure used to find balance issues.
We all want to live in an environment that is healthy and manageable. To achieve that goal, we also have to make sure our bodies are healthy and manageable. Hearing loss can immediately impact our physical well-being and make simplifying our lives increasingly more difficult.
The link between hearing and balance reinforces the importance of regular hearing tests for you and your loved ones. Start the journey to a healthier life by making an appointment with an audiologist who can evaluate if hearing loss is throwing you off-balance. Visit our community partner, Harbor Audiology and Hearing Services in Gig Harbor and Tacoma, Washington to schedule an appointment.