Examining the Relationship Between Auditory Function and Fall Risk | Holland Hearing Looks Into a New Study

09/22/2023 | Hearing & Balance, Hearing Health, Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

Examining the Relationship Between Auditory Function and Fall Risk | Holland Hearing Looks Into a New Study

When facing a new health concern, it’s always important to be aware of the other symptoms and side effects that can affect your quality of life.

Whether you have just noticed hearing loss, are looking for help with ongoing hearing loss, or need support because someone close to you has a hearing impairment, it’s always helpful to keep up to date on how else those with hearing loss can be affected by the symptoms and side effects.

Here at Holland Hearing, we actively seek out as much information on hearing health as we can in order to help keep you informed.

Whether it’s the latest technology updates, finances around hearing care, or new studies on hearing loss and how it affects you, we’ve got you covered.

Speaking of which, we recently read a study by Joseph Sakumura, AuD, and Richard Gans, PhD, that outlines the connections between auditory function and risk of falling.

A fascinating read with a wealth of research behind it, we’ve broken this down for you based on the three leading auditory conditions assessed.

What Are Your Risks?

According to the study, one-third of older adults fall annually, making it the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for Americans. This number is staggering and has since sparked a multidisciplinary interest in how to modify the risk factors for our older generation.

The risk of falling is affected by three main areas: cognitive, vestibular, and auditory functions.

All three areas can significantly increase your risk of falling.

Patients with hearing loss experience a three times higher risk of falling than those with normal hearing (according to Viljanen et al. 2009; Lin & Ferrucci 2012; Tin-Lok Jian, Li, & Agarwal, 2016).

If you suffer from mild cognitive impairment, you are 14 times more likely to have degraded postural stability, increasing your risk of falling (according to research completed by Chua, Fauble, & Gans, 2022).

And those with vestibular dysfunction have a 12 times increase in risk of falling (as researched by Agarwal et al. 2004).

Patients with hearing loss can experience a three times higher risk of falling.

What Can You Do?

Although this information may seem overwhelming, the study also states that finding a solution to your hearing challenges can mitigate the risks of falling.

As with all health conditions, early intervention is key!

We take so much care in getting our eyes and general health checked regularly but often leave getting our hearing tested until it’s too late.

Visiting a local clinic and getting your hearing tested is the best way to determine and assess your risks. By getting the help and support you need, you can be fitted with a hearing device that can lower your risk of being in a hearing-related fall.

Or if, like some of our patients, you have hearing aids you’re not happy with, we can help you find the right hearing solution that works for you and your lifestyle.

How Holland Hearing Center Can Help:

At Holland Hearing Center, we believe that the solution to hearing loss is not just the device you wear, but the ongoing support and care that follow.

Having been voted the Best Hearing Aid Provider for 15 consecutive years, we can help you address any of the hearing concerns you may have.

Serving Abilene for nearly 20 years, we know that your journey starts with a few questions! If you have any you’d like to ask today, or if you’re ready to take the first step toward improving your hearing, you can give us a call at (325) 437-4730.

Let us help you with your hearing care

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Dr. Kelsi Mangrem AU.D, FAAA

Dr. Kelsi Mangrem received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, as well as her Doctorate of Audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). Whether a patient, employee, or industry colleague, the philosophy of service to others resonates throughout her character.

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