Ears are invaluable to help us balance and orient ourselves in the world. When they don’t work right, it affects our balance and not just our hearing.
But did you know that Hearing Aids have been shown to help balance by using sound to orient location?
Balance is controlled by the inner ear, a complex structure called the labyrinth. This system includes the cochlea, which is essential for hearing, and the vestibular – the semi-circular canals. This system works with our sight to help our body control our balance.
When the system is compromised, it results in dizziness and even more disturbing symptoms including disorientation, confusion, even a feeling of dread and panic.
There are other conditions can affect balance such as:
- ear infections
- blood circulation problems in the inner ear
- head injury
- eye muscle imbalance
- low blood pressure
There is help
The good news is that wearing hearing aids may help with balance issues.
The Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis released the results of a small scale study which showed that wearing hearing aids could help to reduce the risk of falls in older people.
Participants appeared to be using the sound information coming through their hearing aids as auditory reference points or landmarks to help maintain balance.
If you’re suffering from balance issues, you might also notice other physical symptoms too including:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Vertigo, and
Be sure to consult a specialist who will develop an individualised treatment plan that can include exercises to be performed at home which combine specific head and body movements with eye exercises.
Good balance is vital for good health
Effective balance may not be directly related to good health, but it does make a tremendous difference to your overall physical well-being.
As part of a regular fitness program, good balance helps you avoid injury and improve coordination. As we grow older, falls become more serious, so it is important to practice simple balancing exercises regularly.
We have a few great links to with exercises that will help you make a difference: