Person falling because of hearing loss

Hearing Loss and the Risk of Falling

Many causes of falls are preventable. You may be routinely advised to exercise, have your vision checked, and monitor whether any medications may cause dizziness, but are you encouraged to have your hearing checked?

A mild degree of hearing loss triples the risk of accidental fall with the risk increasing by 140% for every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss.

Increase in falls can be due to less environmental awareness to people, pets, or other things going on around you.

Researchers have suggested cognitive overload affects balance. Those with hearing loss use much of their mental resources to interpret speech and other sounds and have fewer resources left over to dedicate to maintaining balance. Falls are serious and should not be underestimated.

• 1 out of 5 falls cause a serious injury
• 3 million older people are treated each year for fall injuries
• Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury
• Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries

Falling is already a risk factor for older adults but coupled with hearing loss the increase for falls triples.

Regular hearing screenings can help decrease the risk of falls, increase longevity, and help maintain healthy cognitive functioning.