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The Future of Balance and Hearing Aids

Monday, September 18, 2017 10:06:00 AM Australia/Melbourne

The Future of Balance and Hearing AidsImagine a world a hundred years ago, full of uncertainty, medical marvels and navigating the unknown. Doctors tested medicines without solid research, scientists stumbled through projects in small rooms in the back of their homes, and thousands upon thousands of those over sixty were confused by issues with hearing loss and balance. Fast forward to present day and there is a lot more clarity about the relationship between the two. Now we know that if you have issues with your balance, it could very well be due to hearing impairments.


This is because one of the main systems responsible for healthy hearing resides inside of your ears. Granted, this was a huge breakthrough to determine. After all, who would have guessed that one of the key parts of your body to keep you upright and walking properly was in one of the smallest parts of your body? Well, as you know, Hearlink is dedicated to sharing not only the history of hearing impairment evolutions with you, but also the future. More and more amazing research is becoming available to the public. It’s telling an inspirational story about where we could be in ten, twenty, one hundred years. And it’s focusing on the role that hearing aids will play in the healthy balance functions. Read on to find out more.


First, an important disclaimer. The research shared on the Hearlink blog is varied. This means large focus groups, small focus groups and variables of every size. It’s not to determine that a problem will be solved overnight, but rather to show how far audiology has come as an industry. So today’s (small group) study, found in The Laryngoscope Journal, showed that hearing aids play an integral part in the balance of those older than 60-years-old. The variable? The risk of falls—an unfortunately high statistic for our more senior generations of loved ones.


The researchers hail from Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. They polled 14 men and women between the ages of 65 and 91. They leveraged a standard balance test, which is administered at audiologists, hearing specialists and general doctors’ practices all over the country—first with hearing aids, and then without. The difference between the number of falls was worth noting. They also took a look at the success of the study when those polled wore hearing aids that were turned off. As you may imagine, they were not nearly as impactful as those active and ready.


“The participants appeared to be using the sound information coming through their hearing aids, ass auditory reference points or landmarks to help maintain balance”

-Timothy E. Hullar, Professor of Otolaryngology


It’s not a landmark takeaway, but it’s a reminder of the importance of prevention and vigilance. If you believe that a family member may be suffering from hearing loss AND/OR has fallen lately, it can never hurt to consult an expert. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Hearlink. Even if we can’t help you directly, we can point you to an expert who can.

Posted in Industry News By

Hearlink Admin