Are Balance Problems Related to Hearing Loss?

Many do not know, but there is in fact a correlation between your hearing and your balance. The ear is a complex organ that processes sound waves which are then interpreted by the brain – this is how we hear. The ear is also a host to your vestibular system, which is what provides you with a sense of balance and spatial orientation, and studies have shown that a vestibular system that is compromised can lead to balance disorders.

Balance Explained

The labyrinth which is located in the inner ear, is the organ structure that is responsible for the human body’s sense of balance. The labyrinth is made of both tissue and bone and is very delicate and complex. It comprises different parts including the semicircular canals and otolithic organs (both in charge of balance) and the cochlea, which is in control of hearing.

Both the vestibular and the visual system are what lets the body know its position in respect to earth and gravity. They coordinate in such a way so that there is no blurring of objects when moving. This allows the muscles and joints in the body to assist in keeping an upright or sitting position via special sensory receptors.

Balance Disorders

A balance disorder is a condition that leads to feelings of dizziness or unsteadiness. A person  with balance disorders will often experience the following symptoms:

  • Feeling woozy, dizzy, or unsteady on their feet
  • A feeling as if the person is falling or the room is spinning
  • Inability to walk without staggering or holding onto a support
  • Blurred vision
  • Disorientation, confusion, or concentration problems
  • Extreme nausea or vomiting
  • Increased heart rate or blood pressure
  • Anxiety or panic (commonly followed by fatigue or depression)

NOTE: These symptoms may be felt regardless of the position of the body – lying or standing up.

While these problems become more common with age, they’re certainly not limited to the elderly. Dizziness, vertigo, and associated complications can affect a person at any age.

Hearing Loss and Balance

Hearing loss doesn’t cause balance disorders on its own, however, problems with the inner ear that’s responsible for hearing may also disrupt your vestibular system. That means hearing loss may be a sign of an underlying condition which is also impairing your balance. Ear infections, poor blood circulation in the inner, and head injuries can all lead to balance disorders. Tumors, medications, arthritis, eye muscle imbalance, and low blood pressure are also some non-hearing related problems that can cause balance disorders.

Consult with the Hearing Experts at Kenwood Hearing Center

If you still have questions, we are here to help! Please contact us today and schedule an appointment at one of our convenient Ohio hearing center locations: Bowling Green, Toledo, or Wauseon. The experts at Kenwood Hearing Center are here for you to help you not only with hearing aids, but your overall hearing health.

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