The struggle with balance disorders plagues a large part of our population. Many of us have felt dizzy or off-balance, but to be challenged by it on a daily basis can be detrimental to a person’s life. But in case you didn’t know, the link between balance and hearing loss is unmistakable. What happens to the ear, or inner ear, for that matter, affects balance.
What is the link between balance and hearing loss?
Dr. Meryl Miller, Au.D., Director of Clinical Audiology at the Ear, Nose & Throat Institute says, “Your hearing health is an important part of your overall health. One of the many ways your hearing health affects your overall health is balance. According to a study out of Johns Hopkins, individuals aged 40-69 that had a mild hearing loss were three times as likely to report falling in the past year. And, that risk increased with poorer hearing.”
Not only are audiologists saying it, but physical therapists too. Jose Crespo, PT, from ENTI agrees by saying, “What we are now realizing however is that hearing loss is also a major factor when it comes to your balance and control. It is to no surprise that we are now beginning to see this relationship because what we see on a daily basis in the physical therapy clinic is that our body relies on every sensation available to assist in their movement control – and that includes your hearing!”
“Every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss increases your chance of falling. Wearing hearing aids can help you with your hearing and your balance.”
The key here is that hearing loss leads to balance disorders and a higher risk of falls. But what’s the solution? Going to the source of the problem, hearing, could be the answer.
Another audiologist from the ENT Institute’s Hearing Center, Dr. Sonia Hamidi, Au.D., CCC-A, recommends a solution by saying “Every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss increases your chance of falling. Wearing hearing aids can help you with your hearing and your balance.”
Another link between hearing and balance is Ménière’s Disease.
What is Ménière’s Disease?
What happens to the inner ear affects our ability to balance and equilibrium. The NIH describes Ménière’s Disease as, “…a disorder of the inner ear that causes severe dizziness (vertigo), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear. Ménière’s disease usually affects only one ear” (NIH, 2017).
If you believe that this is something you need to be tested for, the Ear, Nose & Throat Institute has you covered. Don’t hesitate to book an appointment right here, right now without making a phone call. Click the button below to get started.
Treatment for Hearing Loss
In the event that your dizziness and balance issues are caused by untreated hearing loss, there’s no reason to fret. Our audiologists use a wide range of diagnosis and treatment options to give people a higher quality of life.
Hearing aids, for example, are the ultimate treatment option for hearing loss. Although there might be a stigma toward owning or wearing hearing aids, with today’s technology, using them has never been more beneficial for people’s physical and mental health.
Before we get to the solutions though, the process of treatment requires the step of diagnosis. With hearing evaluations, hearing aid consultations, and hearing aid fittings, the treatment plans are fit to your individual needs.
Don’t have time to come to the clinic for an appointment? Worried about the current virus? Don’t worry. Our Hearing Center offers Virtual Hearing Visits, where Dr. Sonia Hamidi will get on a video chat and perform evals, consultations, and fittings from the comfort of your own home.
Click the button below to start chatting now:
Treatment for Balance Disorders
There’s no better way to explain treatments for balance disorders than to let one of our physical therapists give the details.
Jose Crespo, PT discusses our treatment options by saying, “A major focus of physical therapy when treating anyone with a balance disorder is to directly stimulate the patient’s visual system, muscular system, and the balance system located within their inner ear. These three systems provide simultaneous sources of information to your brain that then helps your body stay upright and control itself well without feeling disoriented, dizzy, or nauseous. The smallest of challenges placed on these three systems can result in strong balance reactions if any one of these systems are weak.”
Same-day Balance and Hearing Loss Treatment in Atlanta
Treating balance and hearing loss is possible at the ENT Institute. Our audiologists and physical therapists work together to come to a solution for patients dealing with both issues at the same time.
To schedule an appointment, call or click the button below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, there’s a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Someone with moderate hearing loss 3x more likely to have dementia.
Untreated hearing loss does get worse with age, especially since 40% of those with hearing loss are younger than 60.
There are a few variables, but the natural aging process is one of them. Exposure to loud sounds over time will lead to hearing loss too.
Depending on the source of the balance disorder, it can be solved or greatly reduced through physical therapy.
In most cases where there’s a balance issue and a headache, the headache or migraine is generally the culprit.
Written by Sonia Hamidi, Au.D., CCC-A The New Normal Our world has significantly changed over the course of the last few months. COVID-19 has created
By Dr. Meryl Miller For years I worked with a patient that was never happy with his hearing aid. He had one completely deaf ear and
- Mayo Clinic Staff, (2020, June 18) Balance problems – Symptoms and causes [Medical Website] Retrieved on January 18th, 2021 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/balance-problems/symptoms-causes/syc-20350474
- Advanced Audiology and Hearing Care (2020) Hearing and Balance Disorders [Medical Website] Retrieved on January 18th, 2021 from https://advancedhearingcare.org/hearing-and-balance
- National Institute of Health (2017, February 13) What is Meniere’s Disease? – Diagnosis and Treatment [Medical Website] Retrieved on January 18th, 2021 from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/menieres-disease