The Inner Ear: A Tale of Two Systems

Are Balance Problems Related to Hearing Loss?

It’s common for people with hearing loss to have balance issues, and vice versa.

This phenomenon might even affect you or a loved one. Do they occur together as a coincidence, or are hearing and balance actually related? It turns out the answer is, “It depends.” Let’s look at some basics first.  

The Inner Ear

The inner ear is also known as the bony labyrinth, and it consists of both the cochlea and the vestibular system.

The cochlea (hearing): The cochlea is where sound signals are captured, converted to electrical signals, and sent to the brain to be interpreted as sound. The vestibular system (balance): This comprises three bony canals and two pouches. These work together to tell your brain where your head is in space, as well as when and how it’s moving.

 

Hearing and Balance Problems

Both hearing and balance depend heavily on the status of …

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Best yoga poses for balance

How to Improve Your Balance with Yoga

According to Temple University research, women 65 and older who took twice-weekly yoga classes for nine weeks increased ankle flexibility and showed more confidence in walking. Flexibility and confidence? Sign us up!

 

What Is Balance?

Yoga can help with two types of balance — both physical and emotional. World-renowned yoga teacher B.K.S. Iyengar said it best:

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”

Balance is described in yogi terms by Yoga Journal as such:

“When we balance, we align our body’s center of gravity with the earth’s gravitational field. Quite literally, we place ourselves in physical equilibrium with a fundamental force of nature.”

According to Yoga Journal, you can’t balance by staying still. Rather, you’re constantly refreshing your balance each moment. This kind of alignment brings harmony not only to our skin and bones, …

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Get to Your Destination in Comfort

5 Tips for a Comfy Car Ride

Does back pain drive you crazy while on the road? Here are five tips to help you put the brakes on discomfort so you can focus on the fun.

Long car rides can cause your hips, butt, lower back, and shoulders to feel tight. The longer you’re sitting, the more damage you could do. When you sit, your spine loses its natural curve, causing a strain on your vertebrae and discs. Your sciatic nerve can also become agitated when sitting, and that can lead to hip and thigh pain. If you don’t sit upright, the tipped-back position of a car seat places strain on your hamstrings, which cause the pelvis to become misaligned.

1. Take the high road.

Sit up straight with your knees slightly higher than your hips, and keep your chin pulled in so that your head sits straight on top of your spine.

2. Take …

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Better Hearing Means Better Balance

Hearing aids may do more than just help us hear. They may also give us better balance. Imbalance is a concern of millions of people worldwide. Balance can be related to inner ear, visual, neurological and muscular disorders. While hearing aids cannot cure balance issues, it is just another clue that the parts of the ear (hearing and balance) work more closely than previously thought.

According to a recent research study from Washington University in St. Louis, ENT Dr. Timothy E. Hullar reports, “We don’t think it’s just that wearing hearing aids makes the person more alert. The participants appear to be using sound information coming through their hearing aids as auditory reference points to help maintain balance.” It is a bit like using your eyes to tell you where you are in space. This study suggests that opening your ears (to sound) also gives you information about balance.”

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