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Why Do Balance Disorders Accompany Hearing Loss?

hearing specialist performing a standard hearing test

A balance disorder is an issue with the vestibular system, which is the part of the inner ear that controls equilibrium and spatial orientation. The vestibular system contains a fluid called endolymph, and the semicircular canals that are responsible for detecting rotational movement. When this fluid moves too much or too little, it can cause problems with balance and spatial orientation.

There are many different types of balance disorders, but they all have one thing in common – they are caused by some kind of dysfunction in the vestibular system. When it comes to hearing loss and issues of this kind, you may find that it’s best to consult an audiologist in the first instance. However, in this blog post, we’re going to consider this topic in more detail.

Balance Disorders and Hearing Loss

Balance disorders and hearing loss are not the same. Balance disorders can be a symptom of other medical conditions, but hearing loss is usually caused by age or noise exposure. Balance disorders can be caused by a variety of factors. Some people may have an inner ear infection, while others may have a balance disorder that is brought on by stress or anxiety. Age and smoking are also risk factors for balance disorders.

Hearing loss is typically caused by age or some type of noise exposure, such as loud machinery at work. The common causes of hearing loss include: over-exposure to loud noises, aging and family history.

What Causes Balance Disorders?

The labyrinth is a maze-like structure in the inner ear that provides balance and equilibrium. The labyrinth is composed of three semicircular canals and two otolith organs. When we move, the fluid in these structures moves as well, sending information to the brain about our position and orientation. A balance disorder occurs when there is a problem with these structures or with their function. There are many possible causes of balance disorders including:

  • Labyrinthitis, an infection of the inner ear that can cause vertigo and dizziness.
  • A head injury
  • A tumor on one of the nerves or bones in the skull.
  • Certain medications such as diuretics or antidepressants.

Why Do Balance Disorders Accompany Hearing Loss?

Balance disorders are common in people who have hearing loss. Balance disorders are a common problem for people who have hearing loss. It has been found that balance problems typically accompany hearing loss and there's no clear reason why this is the case. Some factors that may contribute to balance problems in people with hearing loss include:

  • The inability to hear sounds around them which could lead to a lack of information about where they are in space, leading to confusion and imbalance.
  • Difficulty understanding speech which can lead to increased stress levels and frustration, leading to more balance problems.
  • People with hearing loss are more likely than those without it, to have conditions such as vertigo or Meniere’s disease, which can cause imbalance symptoms as well.

What is the Link Between Hearing Loss and Balance Problems?

Hearing loss can cause balance problems and dizziness. You might notice that you have a hard time balancing when you walk or stand up from a seated position. The problem is that the inner ear contains hair cells that are responsible for balance and hearing. When they get damaged, they can't function properly, which then causes balance problems.

The Symptoms of Balance Disorders

The symptoms of dizziness and vertigo are not the same, but they are often confused with one another. Dizziness is a sensation of lightheadedness, or the feeling that you or your surroundings are spinning. Vertigo is a sensation of movement, either spinning or swaying.

Dizziness can be caused by many things including: standing up too quickly, sudden changes in air pressure, low blood sugar levels and many more. Vertigo can be caused by conditions like Meniere's disease and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

How to Prevent Balance Disorders from Hearing Loss?

Balance disorders are a common complication of hearing loss. It's important to know how you can prevent balance problems from hearing loss and what you can do to cope with them if they happen. Hearing aids help people with balance problems by making sounds louder so that people can hear more easily. They also help with the perception of motion in the environment, which is essential for balance.

If you’d like to discuss your hearing loss in more detail and consult our audiologist team at Hear for You Hearing & Balance Center call us today at 401-475-6116.