How Does Hearing Loss Affect Your Balance and Bicycle Riding?

Cycle lanes are becoming more common and we’re all encouraged to cycle rather than drive. But what if you have difficulty with your balance as a result of hearing loss? How does hearing loss affect your balance and bicycle riding?

As we go about our daily lives, we may not always think about the intricate ways our senses collaborate to keep us safe and balanced. We rely on a symphony of signals from our eyes, ears, and proprioceptive system to maintain stability. It might be a surprising revelation, but our ears play a crucial role in this system.  We strongly recommend that anyone who has a hearing aid should wear it all the time – read here for more information.

Understanding the Inner Ear’s Role:
To grasp the connection between hearing loss and balance, it’s essential to learn a bit about the inner ear’s marvellous mechanism. Deep inside our ears, there are small, delicate structures called the vestibular system. This system is responsible for detecting motion and changes in head position, thus enabling us to maintain equilibrium.

The vestibular system works in harmony with our visual system, helping us gauge our orientation relative to the environment around us. For instance, when we ride a bicycle, our ears help us maintain balance by detecting shifts in movement and coordinating that information with what we see and feel.

The Link Between Hearing Loss and Balance:
Hearing loss, even if it appears mild at first, can disrupt the communication between the ears and the brain. This disconnection can hinder the vestibular system’s ability to accurately detect motion and balance-related cues. As a result, those with hearing impairment might experience a slight, yet impactful, decrease in balance control.

Research suggests that individuals with hearing loss may rely more heavily on their visual and proprioceptive systems to compensate for the compromised vestibular input. While this adaptation can be effective to some extent, it may not provide the same level of balance control experienced by those with fully functional hearing.

Keep reading – How Does Hearing Loss Affect Your Balance and Bicycle Riding?

The Bicycle Connection:
As we circle back to the subject of bicycle riding, you might now understand how hearing loss could play a role in this seemingly unrelated activity. Riding a bicycle requires a fine-tuned coordination of balance, especially when navigating through obstacles, making turns, or adjusting speed. When hearing loss affects the delicate balance mechanism, it can lead to difficulties in maintaining the necessary equilibrium for a smooth ride.

However, there is some good news! With increased awareness, the right support, and a proactive approach, those with hearing loss can continue to enjoy the thrill of cycling.

Seeking Solutions and Embracing Technology:
If you suspect you might have hearing loss or have already been diagnosed, it’s crucial to consult Hear In, a professional audiology practice, for a comprehensive evaluation. We offer free hearing assessments, without obligation, to establish your level of hearing.

We can then suggest appropriate interventions, such as hearing aids, to improve your auditory experience if you need them. It could be as simple as removing ear wax!

Hearing aids have come a long way in recent years. Advanced technology now allows for better sound processing and filtering, reducing background noise and enhancing speech clarity. By wearing hearing aids, you can potentially improve your balance by regaining better access to auditory cues and enhancing your overall sensory perception.

Furthermore, some hearing aids even come with features like Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to wirelessly connect to your smartphone or bicycle accessories, such as GPS systems or communication devices. Embracing these technological advancements can help you enjoy your rides more safely and confidently.

The Power of Adaptation:
Like with any challenge in life, adapting to changes is the key to unlocking new possibilities. While hearing loss may influence your balance, it doesn’t have to prevent you from riding a bicycle. Start with short, safe rides in familiar settings to build your confidence. Consider riding with a friend or family member who can provide additional support and reassurance.  There are specific cycling clubs if you want to ride with people who are also hard of hearing.

Always remember that it’s essential to prioritise safety and follow traffic rules. Wear a helmet, use reflective gear, and equip your bicycle with proper lights for visibility. Taking these precautions will ensure you can enjoy your bicycle rides while feeling secure.

In conclusion, hearing loss and balance may have a hidden connection, but it doesn’t have to hold you back from the joys of cycling. Visit us for professional guidance, embrace technology, and adapt to new strategies. By doing so, you can pedal into the sunset and experience the wind in your hair with newfound confidence, all while cherishing the simple pleasure of riding a bicycle. Happy cycling!

Are hearing issues causing you to lose sleep? Is a lack of sleep causing your hearing loss? Studies show that sleep and hearing issues are linked. To mark World Sleep Day 2023 on Friday 17 March, we explore the correlation between sleep and hearing loss and what can be done to improve your hearing health and sleep.

What is World Sleep Day?

World Sleep Day is an annual, internationally recognised event created and hosted by the World Sleep Society. The event builds connections and raises sleep health awareness among researchers, healthcare workers, patients, and the public.

What does hearing health have to do with World Sleep Day?

Healthy sleeping patterns are linked to hearing health. Either hearing problems cause you to lose sleep or your lack of sleep is causing hearing issues.

A study suggests hearing aid users and those with normal hearing sleep better – and yet those without are more physically and mentally exhausted. Let’s look at the science behind it.

If you’re losing sleep, especially two nights’ worth, your blood vessels will have trouble functioning as they should. Your blood vessels help with circulation. If your circulation is poor, your blood flow slows.

This means that your ears receive less of the essential nutrients they need. A lack of nutrients causes your auditory hair cells, which help you hear, to deteriorate.

Sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnoea have been linked to reduced brain function especially central auditory. Hard of hearing people must work harder to discern between sounds, a skill that requires core auditory processing.

Not getting enough quality sleep can also exacerbate tinnitus symptoms, as well as the despair and worry that can accompany sleep loss.

If hearing problems are the cause of your sleep deprivation, tinnitus is likely to be a problem. According to the JAMA Neurology journal, 749 million people are affected by Tinnitus.

Experiencing the sensation of constant ringing in your ears? Yes, that’s Tinnitus, and it often indicates a more serious underlying health issue. You could be affected by age-related hearing loss, untreated ear damage or even circulatory problems.

It’s for this reason that you should see an audiologist. Don’t ignore the problem. Left untreated, the issue could get worse, you will continue to lose sleep, and this will only make things worse – it’s a vicious circle.

How to remedy sleep and hearing loss

The problems associated with sleep and hearing loss may be remedied by hearing aids. You might be thinking ‘I’m too young for hearing aids’. Equally, you might be totally against the idea of wearing them.

You’re not alone in your thinking. According to Hearing Link, 6.7 million people in the UK could benefit from hearing aids, but only 2 million people use them.

But, if you were to ask any of the 2 million that do wear them whether they sleep better, most would say yes.

A study in Germany found that 59% of hearing aid users were more content with their sleep compared with a 44% satisfaction rate among people who don’t wear hearing aids.

It’s worth pointing out that hearing aids are not a sleep aid. If you suffer with insomnia, hearing aids can’t cure your condition. However, if you’re hearing health is causing your insomnia, wearing hearing aids as part of your daily routine can help to ease conditions like tinnitus that keep you awake at night.

Help with hearing loss

If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, we can help you do something about it. Here’s what our ‘Hear In’ clinics offer:

  • FREE hearing assessments
  • FREE aftercare
  • FREE servicing
  • Hearing aids with 60-day money back guarantee
  • 6-month hearing reviews
  • Up to 5-year warranty for hearing aids

We’re here to listen, evaluate, and recommend solutions to improve your hearing health.

Try our 10-minute online hearing screener, now or book an appointment.