Hearing aids may prevent falls in the older population, says a study published by the Laryngoscope – the Journal of the American Otological, Rhinological and Laryngological Society. Falls are the leading cause of accidental death in adults over 65 years of age in the United States. The study found a correlation between hearing loss and the risk of falling in seniors. Researchers found that patients with hearing aids in both ears performed better on standard balance tests when their hearing aids were turned on compared with when they were off.
The study conducted at Washington University in St. Louis lends support to the idea that improved hearing through hearing aids or cochlear implants may help reduce the risk of falls in older people. “We have long suspected that hearing loss decreased a patient’s proprioception and increased their risk of falling. Certainly, when a patient is not fully aware of their surroundings, there is always a risk that they will take a misstep that could result in a serious, if not fatal fall,” said Dr. Moises Arriaga, director of the CNC Hearing and Balance Center.