How does the use of hearing aids affect vertigo and balance disorders?

The ear is the organ in charge of hearing, and it also contributes to spatial orientation and balance. We are able to maintain balance through the joint work of the inner ear, eyes, muscles, joints and brain.

However, what happens when we have hearing loss? Is it related to the appearance of vertigo, dizziness and balance disorders? How do hearing aids help?

Hearing loss and vertigo

Balance disorders and vertigo can be caused by a variety of factors, such as head injuries, some medications, ear infections, or inner ear problems. Diet and lifestyle are also factors that directly affect balance.

Vertigo is a fictional feeling that the body or environment is spinning or moving.

It should not be confused with dizziness, which is a feeling of instability that is accompanied by weakness and fainting, as occurs for example in a low blood sugar.

On the other hand, hearing loss occurs as a consequence of the deterioration or injury of one or more parts of the auditory system: the inner, middle or outer ear, the auditory nerve or the auditory centers of the brain.

To maintain balance, these components work constantly and together to detect our position and movements in space, sending information to the brain. However, when one of these parts suffers deterioration, the brain is left with no choice but to receive information only from the eyes, joints and muscles, so the data it collects is no longer as complete as before.

This loss of effectiveness translates into the appearance of problems such as dizziness and balance disorders, with 75% of people who suffer from hearing loss suffer from them. These vertigos occur both when the hearing loss occurs in only one ear, as in both.

Hearing aids can help you improve your sense of balance

A study conducted by the Washington University of Medicine has concluded that receiving additional auditory signals helps improve stability and balance. In the study, different tests and balance exercises have been carried out with the hearing aids on and off, exposing the participants to white noise.

According to Timohy E. Hullar, a physician and professor of otorhinolaryngology at the University, hearing aids and cochlear implants not only make the person more alert, but the sound information that comes through the hearing aids serves as auditory reference points to maintain the equilibrium.

'' It's a bit like using your eyes to know where you are in space. If you turn off the lights, you will sway, more than you would if you could see. This study shows that 'opening your ears' also provides information on balance. '' - Timothy E. Hullar

This fact is particularly beneficial for the elderly, since with the help of hearing aids they would reduce the risk of falls and injuries associated with lack of balance.

Ultimately, hearing aids relieve vertigo, not cause it.

For those who are still wondering whether hearing aids can cause vertigo, the answer is no. Although vertigo and hearing are closely linked, hearing aids are not part of the equation, and they do not have negative effects, if not, quite the opposite.

When you first start using hearing aids, there may be an adjustment period where you have to get used to the new sound stimuli you receive for a few weeks, which can cause disorientation, but you will never experience dizziness.

Hearing aids can be slightly disorienting at first, a period of adaptation is needed, which varies depending on the person and the type of hearing loss, but they do not cause dizziness, they relieve it.

Hearing loss should not be taken lightly, and it should always be diagnosed by a professional such as a hearing care professional, audiologist, or otolaryngologist. Whether it is a mild or severe hearing loss, in one ear or both, it is essential that you see a doctor as soon as possible.

At Auditec we have specialized offices to take care of your hearing health. You can make an appointment for a free hearing test. we will be happy to advise you on your options.

For every 10 decibels of hearing loss, the risk of social isolation increases by more than 50%

Anxiety, social isolation or depression are some of the consequences in undiagnosed and untreated cases of hearing loss. The negative effects of communication barriers are present in a high percentage of children, youth and adults with hearing loss

One of the main impacts of hearing loss is the difficulty in communicating with others, which can lead to anxiety, social isolation or depression. Specifically, some studies indicate that for every 10 decibels (dB) of hearing loss, the risk of social isolation, especially in older people, increases by 52%.

Understanding sound from this biological point of view, hearing loss isolates you from life. In addition to this biological sense, there is the social sense of sound, related to music or language. Hearing loss isolates the sufferer from the most social part of the human being. Isolation leads to "self-absorption" where the "I" predominates over "us" and from there to depression there is very little, "they explain from the Otology Unit of the Río Hortega University Hospital in Valladolid.

The negative effects of communication barriers are present in a high percentage of people with hearing loss. In the child it can have a significant impact on daily life, development and education. In adulthood it affects equal opportunities and generates feelings of loneliness, helplessness and frustration, which can lead to social isolation, anxiety or depression.

Older age, more isolation

With one-third of people over the age of 65 affected, hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in older adults. A group that suffers to a greater extent the psychosocial consequences of hearing loss.

"The sense organs connect the individual with the environment and a large part of them undergoes a natural regression with age. If a pathological handicap, such as hearing loss, appears to the sensory damage associated with age, the disconnection with the environment multiplies ”, say the specialists at the Río Hortega University Hospital in Valladolid. Additionally, untreated hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

Prevent affective and social consequences

People with hearing loss who are able to identify the problem early are the ones who benefit the most. Early detection can help in choosing an appropriate treatment. To raise awareness about the importance of periodic reviews, MED-EL has launched the online awareness campaign Sounds of Nature.

According to the Otology team, “conducting hearing screening programs in the general population, not only among people exposed to intense noise at work or socially, would detect patients with small drops in acute frequencies that are still clinically asymptomatic, but with a risk of future auditory pathology that, otherwise, would only be detected once the hearing loss was evident ”. With proper diagnosis and treatment, "hearing aids involve the reinsertion of the sound patient into the world of sound and, consequently, remove him from the ostracism to which hearing loss had condemned him."

The symptoms for which it is advisable to go to the specialist are alterations in sound discrimination, especially in noisy environments or in crossed conversations; and the presence of chronic tinnitus, commonly described as ringing or ringing in the ears.

About hearing loss

More than 5% of the world's population, 466 million people, live with hearing impairment (432 million adults and 34 million children). Among the treatments recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to improve communication when there is hearing loss, are hearing implants.

In Spain, five out of every thousand newborns have some degree of hearing loss and one in five of these babies will have profound deafness that will prevent normal development. For this reason, it is essential to seek adapted solutions as soon as possible since during the first six years of life, the brain develops the capacity for verbal communication thanks to the auditory information it receives through the ear.


Early deafness: headphones can cause long-term deafness

Listening to many hours of music a day and exceeding the recommended public health limit for volume are the main risk factors.

Can headphones make me deaf? You may have asked yourself on occasion. Spending many hours a day with headphones on, listening to music at a volume above what is recommended by health authorities and without taking into account any health guidelines per day can make your ears age much faster than the rest of your body , and also, generate cognitive problems.

A hearing health problem that increasingly affects more children, youth and adolescents.

From EurekaAlert they recall that in 2017 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that almost 25% of American adults, aged 20 to 69 years, have noise-induced hearing loss. Acquired hearing loss is associated with communication difficulties, social isolation, increased risk of falls and accidents, and health complications, including dementia in adulthood.

The risk to hearing health is greatest for people who use personal audio systems for more than one hour a day at more than 50% volume over a five-year period. The maximum recommended by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is 70 decibels of average exposure.

However, the WHO estimates that half of young people between the ages of 12 and 30 are at risk of hearing loss from prolonged and excessive exposure to excessively high sound levels.

"Significant hearing loss is not part of normal, healthy aging, but it largely represents noise-induced hearing loss," Daniel Fink, Chairman of the Board of the Quiet Coalition, tells Healthline. Together with audiologist Jan Mayes, both experts have published numerous articles on the harmful use of cases and headphones.

A key conclusion was that people using personal audio systems linked to headphones or earphones are damaging their hearing. These devices are the main source of noise exposure in the leisure field.

But not only are helmets making you deaf, but hearing loss has been linked in various investigations with cognitive decline. A 2011 study published in JAMA Neurology revealed that people with mild hearing loss had twice the risk of developing dementia, those with moderate loss tripled this danger, and those with severe hearing impairment 5 times the risk.

As in everything, better safe than sorry: this way you can take care of your hearing and prevent early hearing loss in a noisy world.

Do not exceed 70 decibels

It is the limit recommended by the NIH, and that you should not exceed when playing your favorite playlist or listening to a podcast. Research highlights that prolonged or repeated exposure to sounds of 85 dBA or higher can cause hearing loss.

One trick to knowing without a meter is that if a person has to strain to speak or be heard above ambient noise, that is more than 75 decibels. For devices, it is important both to reduce listening time and not to exceed 50% of the volume capacity.

Headphones also often include safety options or warnings that the recommended listening limit is being exceeded. For children, there are headphones with a specific cap, although they often reach 85 decibels.

 Use an app to measure the sound level

There are many free or inexpensive sound level meter apps that help you determine the noise level in your environment.

Bet on hearing protection

There are many types of hearing protection designed to protect you from the noise around you: earmuffs, disposable foam earplugs, or custom-molded earplugs. They are a great help to maintain the quality of the music and at the same time, protect your precious ears.

Attention to the first symptoms of hearing loss

The most common early signs of hearing loss include difficulty hearing in noisy environments and feeling like you are listening to people but are unable to understand what they are saying.

She said tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is often another early sign of damage to the hearing system and a warning sign that some loss of hearing has been triggered.

Check your hearing regularly

If you are over 50 years old or are exposed to noise at dangerous levels due to your work or your leisure habits, Carson recommends going to the ENT annually, especially when noticing changes, hearing a buzzing sound or noticing a deterioration in the quality and perception of hearing .


Oh and don't fall asleep with your helmets on 



Pregnancy and hearing

Future parents rarely think about the hearing health of the baby since their concern is focused on the pregnancy going well, that their baby will come healthy.

But since deafness in ultrasounds is not seen, it is when they need to know that there are situations of risk both medical, hereditary (genetic), from birth (congenital) or even due to accidents that can affect the hearing health of their future baby.

The specialists (audiologists) answer During pregnancy, what diseases or risk situations can the future mother suffer that affect the hearing health of her baby?

A) Diseases: The presence of infections during pregnancy such as rubella, tuberculosis, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, or syphilis Changes (mutations) in genes, without associated defects Changes (mutations) in genes, with associated defects or syndromes such as Waardenburg or Usher Syndrome, in these cases, in addition to hearing, the malfunction of other organs can be compromised, a syndrome is a set of symptoms or signs that make up a clinical picture. Facial malformations

B) Situations: The mother's poor diet during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery (extreme prematurity) and in turn low birth weight, this can cause hearing loss Consumption of hallucinogens or alcoholic beverages Lack of oxygen during labor or at birth, also called hypoxia Diet low in basic minerals Blows during pregnancy or direct trauma to the fetus Inappropriate use of antibiotics that end up being ototoxic. Ototoxicity is the harmful effect, reversible or irreversible, produced on the ear and that will affect hearing or balance. In the case of diseases knowing which are the ones that can affect the baby's hearing health, to what degree and how do they affect?

A) Syphilis: Syphilis is a chronic sexually transmitted infection produced by bacteria, contagion occurs in the birth canal, from an infected or improperly treated pregnant woman, it can cause abortions, premature deaths, death, additive loss with injury of the cells of the cochlea, normally affects the central nervous system.

B) Toxoplasmosis: it is an infectious disease caused by a parasite, it can cause mild and asymptomatic infections, as well as fatal infections that mainly affect the fetus. It is usually transmitted from animals to humans through different routes of contagion.Preventive measures are particularly important in pregnant women and consist of general hygiene rules to avoid transmission through contaminated food or water, not consume raw or undercooked meat and avoid contact with cat feces. They generate neurological damage and visual impairment. Hearing difficulties

C) Rubella: Congenital rubella syndrome can develop in a growing fetus in a pregnant woman who has contracted rubella during the first trimester. It can also generate Hearing problems - (58% of patients), Eye diseases - especially cataracts and microphthalmia (43% of patients), Congenital heart disease - Other manifestations of this syndrome can be: Spleen, liver or bone marrow (some may disappear shortly after birth), mental retardation, very small head (microcephaly), vision problems, low birth weight, among others. It can generate cochlear ossification at the auditory level, which produces profound sensorineural hearing loss

D) Cytomegalovirus: It is a form of herpes virus, it mainly attacks the salivary glands and can be a serious or fatal disease for fetuses during pregnancy. it can also be life-threatening for patients with immunodeficiency. It generates jaundice and hearing loss in 41% of cases.

E) Tuberculosis: it is a contagious bacterial infection that mainly affects the lungs, but can spread to other organs, the central nervous system, the lymphatic system, the circulatory system, the genitourinary system, the digestive system, the bones, the joints and even the skin generates difficulty with central auditory processing due to the difficulty of conducting information from the auditory nerve to the brain.

What medications does the future mother consume during pregnancy, can affect the baby's hearing health?

Ototoxics are those drugs that have in their composition agents that are harmful to the ear and that can worsen hearing, there is a classification by families of Antibiotics, diuretics, Salicylates, Antimalarials, they affect the auditory (listening) and vestibular functions (maintains orientation of the individual in the surrounding environment).

The vestibular system is made up of the semicircular canals and the receptors of the utricle and is attached to the cochlea or snail in the inner ear. It is important that the mother does not take medications during pregnancy without a prescription.


Recommendations for the future mother and care during pregnancy to avoid hearing problems in her baby.


  1. Avoid the intake of medications without medical formulation.
  2. Attend scheduled checkups during pregnancy
  3. Maintain a diet rich in minerals and basic nutrients (consume medically recommended vitamin supplements)
  4. Avoid falls even from the same height and direct blows on the fetus Once the baby is born, is there a way to detect hearing problems early? If there is a way to detect hearing problems early. Through the NEONATAL HEARING SCREENING exams, these exams are intended to identify the population with hearing loss early, make an early diagnosis and early intervention, adaptation of some hearing aid or entry to a stimulation program.

Is it possible to talk about hearing treatment in a newborn?

Hearing treatment can only be applied once the proper diagnosis is made, therefore it must first be detected (through hearing screening), then diagnosed (through specialized clinical examinations) and finally intervened (applying an alternative treatment) Therefore, it is not convenient to talk about a hearing treatment in a newborn.

How common is deafness or hearing problems due to genetics?

There are reports of hearing loss or hearing loss as one of the most frequent congenital defects, it is considered that 33% of hearing loss has a genetic origin. The prevalence of hearing loss of genetic origin (mostly sensorineural) worldwide is estimated at 1 in 1000 live births and the incidence of cases in early childhood increases, verifying 2.5 cases for every 500 babies born between 12 months to 5 years. (World statistics)

What is otomycosis? Symptoms, causes and how to treat the disease

Otomycosis, is a type of external otitis, it is an acute, subacute or chronic infection caused by yeasts and filamentous fungi and that affects the external auditory canal. The causative agents vary according to the geographical area but a good part of the cases are caused by the yeast 'Candida albicans' and the fungus 'Aspergillus niger'.

Causes of otomycosis

Bacteria and fungi

The main causes of this type of infection are the pseudomonas bacteria and the fungi such as 'Candida albicans' and 'Aspergillus niger'.

The following have been indicated as risk factors for developing the infection:

- Alterations of the skin in the external auditory canal.

- Changes in pH.

- Alterations in the production of earwax.

- Hot.

- Excessive humidity.

- Microtrauma caused by scratching.

- Baths or immersions in water.

- History of external otitis.

- Seborrheic dermatitis.

- Contact dermatitis.

- Psoriasis.

- Eczema.

Symptoms of otomycosis

Constant itch

The main symptom of otomycosis is a constant itching that is quite annoying, sometimes with pain. Other signs are: desquamation, hearing loss if the ear canal becomes plugged by fungus, cerumen and epithelial debris.

- In the case of otomycosis caused by Candida, the external auditory canal presents moist and inflamed epithelium, with whitish spots of irregular presence. There is stinging, itching and moderate pain.

- Acute symptomatic otomycosis presents with inflammation, moderate earache (moderate earache) and serous discharge.

- Chronic symptomatic otomycosis presents pruritic dermatitis, slight odorless, colorless or yellowish serous discharge, itching and dry peeling.

- Otomycosis associated with bacterial infection is characterized by severe earache, pus in the external auditory canal (otorrhea) and, sometimes, a bad smell.

Diagnosis of otomycosis

Review with the otoscope, combined histological and microbiological study and imaging tests

Diagnosis begins with description of symptoms, visual examination, and otoscope review in addition to a combined tissue (histological) and microbiological study in addition to imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT).

Treatment and medication of otomycosis

Ear cleaning

The treatment of otomycosis consists of cleaning the external auditory canal very frequently and then applying antifungal drops. These products make it difficult for the agents that cause the infection to grow. Treatment may also require oral drugs, but only in the most severe cases.

Always consult with your doctor, before following any treatment.

Prevention of otomycosis

Avoid dampness

To prevent otomycosis, moisture in the ear is essential. There are some very useful tips: to try to prevent this infection:

- Do not wet the ears. In this case, custom bath plugs are the best and most comfortable solution.

- Avoid antibiotics. Unless they are prescribed by a medical professional.

- Follow a diet rich in vitamins and proteins. A balanced diet rich in micronutrients ensures the proper functioning of the immune system.


Source: LaVanguardia