Lubbock ☎ : 806-687-4327                Snyder ☎ : 325-284-3221

Lubbock ☎ : 806-687-4327 
Snyder ☎ : 325-284-3221

New Study Reveals the Relationship Between Auditory Function and Fall Risk

01/17/2024 | Industry News

Recent research shows the potential of improved cognitive, vestibular, and auditory functions to significantly reduce fall risks.

Recently, I read an interesting study by Joseph Sakumura, AuD, and Richard Gans, PhD, which was published by the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. I’m excited to share the findings with you! 

The study examined how cognitive, vestibular, and auditory functions relate to fall risk management. The results show that cognitive, vestibular, and auditory functions can play large roles in mitigating fall risks. If you or a loved one has ever experienced a fall, you know that falling can be a substantial risk to older adults. Falls can lead to injuries, hospitalizations, and even fatalities. 

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows just how severe falls can be. In fact, over 800,000 hospitalizations and a staggering 27,000 deaths are attributed to falls in the United States each year.  

While these statistics are scary, there is hope! Research shows that many falls could be mitigated among the elderly population by enhancing their cognitive, vestibular, and auditory functions.  

The study involved 599 adults ranging from ages 18 to 89. It explored the connection between cognitive, vestibular, and auditory functions and the propensity for falls. 

Two quotes from the study caught my attention: 

“Hearing loss is recognized as the number one modifiable risk factor for cognitive decline. Furthermore, patients with even mild cognitive impairment in domains of; visuo-spatial processing, executive function, memory recall, and reaction times are 14 times more likely to have degraded postural stability and elevated fall risk.”

The second quote cites an additional study (Viljanen et al. 2009; Lin & Ferrucci 2012; Tin-Lok Jian, Li, & Agarwal, 2016):

“Risk of falling is 3x higher in patients with hearing loss compared to those with normal hearing.

To sum it up, the study restates that falls are a serious health concern for older adults. However, recent research shows the potential of improved cognitive, vestibular, and auditory functions to significantly reduce fall risks. Healthcare providers may be able to help older adults improve these functions and maintain their balance and reduce their risk of falling. This is wonderful news! 

As a hearing care professional, I’m thrilled to see more studies emphasizing the importance of caring for your auditory function. 

My team and I are committed to providing advanced hearing care, comprehensive hearing evaluations, and the latest hearing technology. If you or a loved one is struggling with hearing concerns, we’re here to help!

If you have any questions or if you’d like to schedule a hearing assessment, give us a call at our
Lubbock location ☎ : (806) 687-4327 or
Snyder location ☎ : (325) 284-3221
or request a callback

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Dr. Julie Hubik, Au.D., CCC-A - Doctor of Audiology & CEO

Dr. Hubik is the owner and founder of one of West Texas' most trusted and professional hearing providers, Cornerstone Audiology. She received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with a hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Dr. Hubik was born and raised in Anton, Texas, and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of their community.

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