People often take their hearing for granted. This is unfortunate, as your sense of hearing does much more than allow you to listen to sounds – in fact, hearing has many effects on your health. One of the biggest effects is on your movement. A good sense of hearing is essential for walking stability and good balance. Read on to find out why.
The Effects of Hearing on Movement
Your sense of balance is essential for being able to move around quickly and gracefully. Though it’s not easy to tell, your ears are a vital part of that sense. Delicate structures in your inner ear work together with your eyes, brain, and muscles to form the vestibular system, the body system which governs balance and equilibrium.
The structures in the inner ear which regulate balance are small, semicircular canals. These canals are filled with fluid that moves and shifts as you move your head or body. The movement of the fluid is detected by stereocilia, small hair-like cells that line the inside of the semicircular canals. These movements, in turn, activate electrical impulses which are sent along the nerve pathways to the brain.
Unfortunately, hearing damage can cause disruption to this sensitive mechanism. Over time the stereocilia cells can become damaged and less responsive, leading to a mismatch between different parts of the vestibular system. This can cause sensations of vertigo, falling, nausea, or extreme dizziness.
If you are experiencing any unexplained balance or coordination issues, your ears could be part of the problem. It’s important that you see a competent hearing professional as soon as possible to determine the cause of the problem and how to treat it. For more information, please contact the Hearing Professionals today.