Preventing falls is a major concern for injury prevention. We know that regardless of age, even a mild untreated hearing loss can increase a person’s risk for falls. As we age, however, not only does the risk of falling increase, but the potential consequences can become more complex and long-term. November is Falls Prevention month, and for that reason, we would like to focus on balance health and falls prevention.
Your inner ear is a major player in both your hearing system and your balance system. If you are experiencing episodes of dizziness, such as when you roll over in bed, during a head cold or ear infection, or simply out of the blue, it may be due to an issue with your inner ear. It is important to contact your doctor, audiologist, or physiotherapist who specializes in balance issues, if you have any dizziness symptoms.
Another concern is how an untreated hearing loss can affect your environmental awareness. Imagine you are walking with a friend and having trouble following the conversation. Most of your focus goes towards your listening effort and watching the person’s mouth. This causes your awareness to be less directed toward your environment, so you are less focused on your footing, and less likely to hear someone warning you that you’re about to trip!
Preventing falls can play a major role in maintaining quality of life, especially for older adults. If you have concerns about how your balance, dizziness and hearing difficulties are affecting you, one of our certified audiologists would be happy to help guide you through managing these symptoms.