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Did You Know…

Hearing Loss Relates to Fall Prevention for Seniors?

It is estimated that 1 in 3 U.S. adults 65 or older falls each year and these common accidents cause over 90% of 300,000 annual hip fractures.

Research indicates that poor hearing may increase the risk of falls and injuries which can reduce mobility, ability to safely perform activities of daily living and life expectancy.

At Hearing Unlimited, our expert audiologists are dedicated to fall prevention for seniors. Our health care services include evidence-based evaluation of your hearing ability and personalized treatments which proactively enhance safety with navigating environments at home, work or play.

Just like family, we share reputable educational information which assists you in making well-informed decisions about how better hearing will improve your quality of life. Our advanced diagnostic testing ensures accurate assessment of your current hearing status and practical ways our hearing doctors will help to optimize.

With our Unlimited Service Promise, you will be confident Hearing Unlimited’s professionals will provide wonderful care for the life of your hearing aids. With five convenient locations, we provide ready access, friendly staff and trusted expertise you can count on.

By popular demand, for those unable to visit our offices, we also provide House Calls.  In the comfort of your home, we will be at your service with high quality care.

See our expert audiologists in Pittsburgh, PA to treat hearing loss, reduce the risk of falls and increase physical safety.


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Signs and Symptoms of Being At risK

Understanding The Risk of Falls & Why it Matters to Me

When focused on falls risk management, you should learn from our hearing doctors’ explanations about why an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Do you occasionally feel dizzy or unsteady on your feet?  If so, does this make you feel less confident in taking care of activities of daily living, working or socializing?  Within our brains there are shared pathways between hearing and balance structures.  Because of this, those with hearing challenges often have difficulties with postural balance, a crucial factor in standing and walking stability.

Are you a physically active person who enjoys walking, running or playing sports?  If so, are balance-related issues reducing your interest in enjoying favorite pursuits? Are there enriching activities or stimulating hobbies you would like to rediscover?

Is mobility vital to maintaining your independence? Those who focus on mindfully taking preventive measures can reduce stress and maintain an independent and healthy way of life for longer. Research shows, staying physically and socially active is to your benefit.

If you or a loved one have recently fallen or experienced symptoms that are causes or concern, please see us for an evidence-based hearing evaluation.  Step by step, our trusted advice will ensure you can surely make well-informed decisions about your hearing, balance and personal safety.

Reach out to Pittsburgh's Top hearing doctor

Effective Treatment Solutions for Balance-Related Issues

Those with hearing challenges may have:

  • Poorer postural balance, a crucial factor in standing and walking ability.
  • Fewer sensory cues in their daily surroundings which are essential for optimum spacial orientation and hazard avoidance. 
  • More difficulty, mainly for older adults, in focusing reduced attention capacity on safely navigating daily surroundings.
  • Shared pathways between hearing and balance-related brain structures

With a variety of advanced hearing aids to deliver personalized solutions, Hearing Unlimited also offers a complimentary 7 Day Test Drive that energizes you with real world opportunities to experience better hearing at home, work or play.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I be concerned if I have slipped or tripped lately for unexplained reasons?

Whether single or multiple occurrences, these warning cues are worthy of serious attention.  It is crucial to assess how your daily surroundings are organized, so environmental factors can be fine-tuned to improve personal safety and reduce constant fears.  Are there certain places or times of day these incidents tend to happen and what can we learn from circumstances involved?  By sharing this vital information with our hearing doctors, we will provide sound advice you can trust.

From a medical perspective, are slips or trips preceded by feeling dizzy or unsteady on your feet?  If so, this may indicate that hearing issues are playing a role in gait challenges you are experiencing.  With evidence-based diagnostics, you will hear the facts about what healthy choices may improve your mobility, self-confidence and quality of life.  

How are the hearing, balance and brain functions intertwined?

Your outer ear collects sound waves that flow through the middle and inner ear.  These sounds typically trigger eardrum vibrations that are amplified en route to the inner ear’s cochlea.  The snail shaped cochlea’s nerve cells convert sound vibrations into electrical signals transmitted to your brain.  
When both ears hear better, your brain naturally processes sounds easier and with less effort.
Our body’s balance (vestibular) system is a group of inner ear organs which make us aware of spatial orientation relative to gravity. This balance system enables us to walk upright and follow objects with our eyes with three sensory systems:

  • Visual
  • Touch 
  • Motion

People experiencing dizziness or imbalance issues may need expert evaluation for inner ear problems. 
As our brain receives electrical signals, sensory nerves try to identify sounds and their sources. This complex process helps place, recognize and understand sound patterns our ears detect.  For optimal hearing, our brain’s cognitive resources must function their best. 
By stimulating your brain, hearing can strengthen important pathways that preserve and improve cognitive function.

Are falls an important risk factor for hip fractures?

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma among people 65 years and older.  Injury due to falling is associated with mortality, disability, premature nursing home admissions, direct medical costs, significant use of healthcare services and reduced functioning.

More than 300,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures occur annually in the U.S., with a 1-year mortality rate of nearly 25%.  Because 86% of hip fractures occur in individuals aged 65 and older, and with the U.S. Census Bureau predicting this proportion of our population will double over the next 40 years, morbidity and mortality from hip fractures is likely to increase substantially in decades to come.

Can poor hearing increase the risk of falls and should we focus more on prevention?

Poor hearing may increase the risk for falls and injuries, thus having a direct effect on disability.  Primary and secondary prevention of hearing loss should be a priority when aiming to promote health and well-being among older people.

It is time to shift the focus in fracture prevention from osteoporosis to falls.  Falling is an under-recognized risk factor for fracture, it is preventable, and prevention provides additional health benefits beyond avoiding fractures.

Studies indicate that wearing hearing aids will provide a significant improvement in balance and decreased risk of falling among older adults with hearing loss.  This suggests that hearing aids offer a novel treatment modality for imbalance and allow auditory inputs to be considered along with vestibular, proprioceptive (awareness of body position and movement), and visual cues as important contributors to maintaining balance.