Studies Link Vestibular/Balance Disorders and Dizziness to Hearing Ability and Falls in Older Americans – Balance Awareness Week is Sept. 19-25, 2021

The Audiologists at the Ear, Nose, and Throat Center (Dr. Borer, Dr. Ludolph, Dr. Milliken, and Dr. Warf) are members of The American Academy of Audiology. The Academy has partnered with the Vestibular Disorders Association for Balance Awareness Week, September 19 to 25, to remind Americans about the importance of good hearing health in preventing falls as well as other conditions. Vestibular/balance disorders, including vertigo and dizziness, often associated with hearing loss, cause a number of conditions including depression, anxiety, panic disorders, fainting or light-headedness, nausea and imbalance.

Falls are the leading cause of injury and death in older adults. While there are many reasons why older adults are at risk of falling including medications, vision loss, diabetes, heart disease and confusion; hearing loss also is associated with a higher risk for falling. Those with symptoms impacting their balance should see an audiologist. Audiologists perform an extensive battery of tests as part of the evaluation of the vestibular system. Depending on the findings of the exams, an audiologist may provide management options and, in some cases, may refer the patient to an otolaryngologist, neurologist or physical therapist.

Vestibular symptoms and dizziness are significant problems in older Americans. It is estimated that 30% of persons older than 60 years and almost 50% of those over the age of 85 years have dizziness and balance challenges along with related symptoms. According to a study, by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, individuals with untreated mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 48 million Americans have some form of hearing loss. Those numbers continue to rise annually.

About the Ear, Nose, and Throat Center:
Our ENT physicians and audiologists are experts in the treatment of ear problems. Our Audiology staff are doctoral level audiologists who provide comprehensive hearing loss services, including hearing assessments, diagnosis, and treatment. The ENT physicians and audiologists collaborate in patient care to provide convenient, comprehensive care in one appointment. We are known for the compassionate care we provide by always going the extra mile for our patients.

The American Academy of Audiology is the world’s largest professional organization of, by and for audiologists. Representing the interests of approximately 14,000 audiologists nationwide, the Academy is dedicated to providing quality hearing care services through professional development, education, research, and increased public awareness of hearing and balance disorders.

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