Prevent Falls With Hearing Aids

by | Sep 18, 2015 | news

Prevent Falls With Hearing Aids

The Washington University School of Medicine conducted a small study with participants ages 65-91. It was the first study to show that sound information – separate from the balance systems of the inner ear – helps maintain the body’s stability.

Balancing With And Without Hearing Aids

In the study, participants performed balance tests both with and without hearing aids. White noise was played for all the tests, and subjects were blindfolded while balancing in different positions for as long as they could. The balance positions ranged from easy (standing on a foam pad with their feet side-by-side) to more difficult (standing with one foot in front of the other).

Better Balance With Hearing Aids

As the tests got more difficult, the subjects did better when they were wearing hearing aids. Even people who performed well on the easy balance tests performed better on the harder tests when they wore hearing aids.

Sounds Help You Stay Upright

This study shows that older people with hearing aids may have better balance, because they use the sounds around them to orient their bodies in space, and keep them upright. This information is important because accidental falls affect the lives of so many older Americans.

Thousands Injured In Falls Each Year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2013, 2.5 million people were treated in hospitals for accidental falls, and over 25,000 older adults died from their injuries. For older adults, the injuries sustained in a fall can make it difficult to get around or live independently, decreasing their quality of life.

Visit An Audiologist

This study gives strong support to the idea that ​hearing aids can help you maintain your balance as you get older, decreasing the chances of a fall that can lead to serious injuries or death. Visit an ​experienced audiologist for a hearing test, and see if hearing aids are the right choice for you.

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Dr. Ana Anzola, CCC-A, FAAA, ABA Principal

Dr. Anzola received her Doctorate degree in Audiology (AuD) from the Arizona School of Health Sciences, and her Master’s Degree in Audiology and her Bachelor's Degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Towson University. She has been a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) since 1995, board-certified by the American Board of Audiology (ABA), and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

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