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How’s your balance?
Falls are the second leading cause of accidental death, per the World Health Organization. They’re also associated with hearing impairment, which can affect your balance.
According to research, falls are more common among people with hearing loss. In one study of more than 2,000 adults ages 40 to 69, patients with mild hearing loss were nearly three times as likely to report a fall in the previous year. Plus, every 10-decibel increase in hearing loss also meant a 1.4-fold increase in the odds of a fall the prior year.
The findings, from researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the National Institute on Aging, were consistent with past research linking hearing loss and increased risk of falls.
Reduce your risk with these five tips:
- Get your vision checked. Being able to see rocky terrain or unstable surfaces will help keep you safe.
- Tying in with our first tip: Check your surroundings for hazards such as uneven surfaces, slippery floors, small rugs, or unstable handrails.
- Be sure to understand how any medications may affect you, including your balance.
- Help ensure your loved ones and those with disabilities have a safe environment adapted to their physical needs.
- Keep your hearing in top shape, starting with hearing exams once a year and whenever you’re having trouble understanding — especially if you’re having difficulty while dining out, watching TV, or talking on the phone.