Your hearing plays a much larger role than you may think. Our ears are home to more than just the hearing nerve. The ears are also home to the cochlea, which is where our sense of balance comes from. Inside the cochlea are semicircular canals and the otolithic organs which are responsible for our sense of balance. Along with our sense of sight and touch, this is how our body senses movement.
Since the hearing nerve and the cochlea are located in the same area of the inner ear it is no surprise that hearing loss can have an affect on your sense of balance. In fact, did you know that those with hearing loss can experience an increase in falls?
Because of the proximity of the hearing nerve and the cochlea, hearing loss and balance problems can often be experienced together. Problems with the inner ear that cause hearing loss can also be responsible for balance problems or an increase in falls.
Hearing loss and balance problems do not always go together. You can have hearing loss without ever experiencing a problem with your balance. You can also experience dizziness or balance issues even if you don’t have hearing loss. Regardless, it is best to be proactive if you feel unsteady or are having a hard time hearing.
Who Should I See for Help?
A certified audiologist can help you manage your hearing loss and can diagnose any problems you may have with your balance. If you are unsure if you have hearing loss, then a hearing test is the first step. A hearing test will allow your audiologist to identify any signs of infection or middle/inner ear damage that may have caused your hearing loss or balance problem.
If you have recently experienced a sudden loss in your hearing due to a head or ear injury, then you should seek help immediately. Any trauma to the head or ear can not only result in sensorineural hearing loss, but it can also lead to an increase in falls and other issues with balance or dizziness.
Find a certified audiologist near you. They will be able to help you manage any signs of hearing loss and help you feel steady on your feet again. Don’t let hearing loss affect your balance, start the journey to better hearing today.