Skip to main content
Balance Disorders

Hearing Loss and Balance Disorders: Understanding the Connection

Have you ever experienced a brief moment of dizziness or unsteadiness? The feeling of losing your balance, even for a few seconds, can be alarming and create an anxious moment. Now, imagine if that feeling lasted longer or happened more frequently to you. It can be an indication of a balance disorder, which could be related to your hearing loss.

Balance Sensors in the Inner Ear

Balance disorders can happen due to the compromise of the vestibular system or the balance sensors in the inner ear. It plays an important role in hearing as it contains tiny hair cells that help transmit sound signals to the auditory cortex in the brain. However, when these hair cells get damaged or destroyed due to aging, loud noise exposure, or other reasons, they could cause hearing loss and balance disorders.

Hearing Loss Plays a Part of Balance Disorders

Research shows that people with hearing loss have a higher risk of developing balance disorders. A Washington University School of Medicine study concluded that age-related hearing loss significantly contributes to balance issues. Furthermore, the study also noted that wearing hearing aids can alleviate some of the balance problems that arise due to hearing loss. Therefore, addressing hearing loss early is essential to prevent balance disorders from worsening.

Meniere’s Disease

When the brain gets a compromised signal from the ear about the body's position and movement, it can cause balance disorders. One of the common balance disorders linked to hearing loss is Meniere's disease. This disease usually affects one ear, and the symptoms include vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the affected ear. Although the reason behind Meniere's disease is still unclear, it's suggested that damage to the inner ear can cause the disease.

Treatment Options

Balance disorders can be managed through various treatments depending on the type and severity of the problem. However, if the underlying cause is hearing loss, treating it may be the best solution. Hearing aids and other hearing devices can improve hearing and balance by providing the brain with the necessary sound signals. A hearing specialist can evaluate your hearing and suggest the best solution for your needs.

Stay Informed About Your Hearing Health

If you experience frequent dizziness, vertigo, or difficulty balancing, consult a medical professional. An early diagnosis can help prevent the underlying issue from becoming worse. Additionally, regular hearing checkups can also help detect hearing loss early, which could be a contributing factor to balance disorders.

A connection exists between hearing loss and balance disorders. Damaged hair cells in the ear, age-related hearing loss, and Meniere's disease are some of the reasons for balance disorders due to hearing loss. If you experience balance issues, speak to a hearing specialist and check your hearing. Addressing hearing loss early can prevent balance disorders from worsening and improve quality of life. Contact us at Beltone Skoric Hearing Aid Center for more information about treatment options.