There is a link between untreated hearing loss and falls

Untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of falls in both older and younger adults.

Posted Tuesday June 13, 2023

Using data from several national health surveys, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine found that people with mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling!

Experts believe that hearing loss:

  • impairs awareness, which makes tripping and falling more likely
  • shifts the brain’s “cognitive load”, meaning the more energy our brains need to spend on one thing (listening and making sense of what we hear), the less energy it has for other things (maintaining balance and gait)
  • can impact the vestibular system, the part of the inner ear that is key to balance and body position.

The good news, though is that treating hearing loss can help lower the risk of falls. A 2019 clinical investigation concluded that hearing aid usage is associated with lower risk of falls and a Washington University School of Medicine study concluded that “enhancing hearing appears to improve balance in older adults with hearing loss.”

If you would like further information, or to cite the research behind this article, refer to the full story at the blog.