Hearing Loss Greatly Impacts Your Risk of Falling

Posted on March 15, 2014 by ECR Louisville in Blog, Hearing Loss

Mar 7th, 2014

Hearing loss impacts many aspects of your life beyond how well you can hear. Your hearing health affects yourheartrisk for dementia and can actually increase your risk of falling.

“The general perception is that hearing loss is a relatively inconsequential part of aging,” said Frank Lin, M.D., an otologist and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University. But Dr. Lin’s research reveals many consequences of hearing loss, one of which is falling.

Lin and his colleagues conducted a study of over 2,000 participants from ages 40 to 69. They tested hearing and recorded how often participants suffered falls. The doctors also conducted vestibular function tests, which measure balance.

The conclusion may surprise you. The study found that people with 25-decibel hearing loss, which is considered relatively mild, were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falls. Each additional 10-decibels of loss increased the odds of falling by 1.4.

Initially it may seem as though these findings are coincidental, and that both problems are merely factors of age. To be certain, researchers went a step further and accounted for other factors of falling, such as cardiovascular disease, vestibular function, age, etc. The findings remained consistent.

Hearing loss is easily improved with the help of a hearing care specialist and a well-programmed hearing device. Add happiness to the list of physical health consequences, and we can’t see any reason to ignore your hearing loss.

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