Feeling Dizzy or Unsteady? It Might Be Hidden in Your Ears!
Have you ever experienced the following scenarios?
Walking on a flat road, suddenly feeling a softness under your feet, as if the ground is shaking, almost losing balance and falling;
Walking in dimly lit surroundings, everything around pitch black, as if the whole world is trembling, needing to tightly grasp nearby objects to maintain body balance.
If you've encountered these troubles, you might not be aware that your hearing could be the culprit! The relationship between hearing and body balance is closely linked, and hearing aids can help improve your body's balance ability, allowing you to walk more steadily and confidently.
Yes! You heard it right – hearing aids not only make sounds clearer but also enhance your body's balance ability.
What's the Connection Between Hearing and Balance?
Hearing and balance may seem unrelated, but they are both functions performed by our ears.
Our ears consist of three parts: outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear.
The outer and middle ears are responsible for collecting and transmitting sound, while the inner ear has two functions: converting sound into nerve signals, transmitting them to the brain (our hearing), and perceiving the position and movement of our head and body (our balance).
Within the inner ear, there is a special structure called the vestibular system, including three semicircular canals and two sacs filled with fluid and sensory cells. When our head or body moves, the fluid moves, stimulating sensory cells, generating electrical signals sent to the brain. This helps the brain understand our direction, speed, and acceleration, regulating muscle and eye movements to maintain balance and visual stability.
Does Poor Hearing Affect Balance?
Hearing loss not only affects our hearing but also impacts our balance. Hearing loss reduces awareness of the surrounding environment, making us more prone to stumbling or falling. Additionally, hearing loss increases cognitive load, diverting attention during listening and making it easier to lose balance.
Scientific evidence shows that for every 10dB increase in hearing loss, the risk of falling increases by 140%. Hearing loss not only raises the risk of falls but also intensifies with the degree of hearing loss.
Can Hearing Aids Improve Balance?
Hearing aids, medical devices that help restore hearing, play a role in collecting, amplifying, and processing external sounds, allowing the ears to perceive sound vibrations and fulfill their auditory function.
Research indicates that wearing hearing aids can improve balance, enhancing performance and stability in activities that require balance.
Hearing aids not only improve hearing clarity but also contribute to better balance. They enhance environmental awareness, reducing the risk of falls. Additionally, hearing aids lower cognitive load, making listening easier and freeing up more brain resources to help maintain balance.
What Can Hearing Aids Do?
Sound Amplification as the Foundation: Like adjusting the volume when watching TV, hearing aids amplify sound signals to make them audible to those with hearing loss.
Personalized Hearing Compensation Based on Degree of Hearing Loss: Tailoring amplification to compensate for specific frequency losses, ensuring appropriate compensation for impaired hearing.
Targeted Sound Amplification – Loud but Not Overwhelming: Most hearing aids prioritize amplifying speech frequencies, addressing the main communication needs of those with hearing loss. While softly amplifying sounds, loud noises are restricted to levels acceptable for hearing-impaired individuals, ensuring clear, comfortable, and safe listening.
Built-in Noise Reduction Technology – Quieting the Chaos: Hearing aids incorporate various noise reduction technologies, selectively suppressing noise in noisy environments, indirectly amplifying speech sounds. This means that even in busy city streets, wearing hearing aids won't be excessively noisy, allowing clear communication. The effectiveness of noise reduction varies among different brands and levels of hearing loss.