Am I At a Higher Risk of Falls and Injury With Hearing Loss?

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If you have experienced hearing loss then you may be at higher risk of suffering accidental injuries. A study in which more than 272,000 adults in the US were surveyed between 2007 and 2015 showed that people with hearing problems were 60 percent more likely to suffer accidental injuries. The study further showed that those with moderate hearing difficulties were 70 percent more prone to accident injuries.

Why Are You At Higher Risk of Falling With Hearing Loss and Not Loss of Sight

Many people think that loss of sight puts you at higher risk of accidental injuries. However, the truth is that you are more prone to falls when you have suffered hearing loss. Here’s why:

1. Hearing uses a lot of your brain reserves

Unlike when you see an object, you have to concentrate more to interpret a sound. According to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine otologist, Frank Lin, MD, PhD, this requires more mental resources. With impaired hearing, you may have fewer mental resources available to help you with your balance.

2. Hearing makes you more aware of your environment

Because of the sounds around you, you are better able to notice other activities going on around you. This gives you a better sense of where you are. Your balance is the result of the coordination of your sense of hearing and sight as well as the coordination of your muscles.

3. Hearing loss results in a decrease in spatial awareness

Hearing loss is linked to the decline of the receptors in the inner ear and plays a major role in your sense of grounding. The vestibular sense is not only activated by sound but also by gravity. It, therefore, helps to give you a sense of where in terms of space. Those with hearing loss resulting from vestibular issues experience dizziness and other balance issues.

If you are suffering from hearing loss, it is important to be careful when moving. Engage in balance exercises, walking as well as strength exercises to improve your balance.