The organs responsible for hearing and balance are located in the same region of the body, as well as share the same neural connection to the brain. When there is an issue with one system, it is not uncommon for the other to be affected.
We use information that we hear as a reference point or landmark to help maintain balance and stand upright. When walking, we can hear our footsteps and what the ground we are walking on sounds like. For example, if people walk on a smooth surface and suddenly hear a crunch, the sound signal is sent to the brain, and the brain is then more alert for individuals to be more cautious of our steps due to an uneven surface. A hearing loss will prevent that chain of events from happening, however it can be improved with the use of properly programmed hearing aids.
Studies have shown that people with untreated hearing loss are three times more likely to experience falls than those with normal hearing. It also found that individuals who wear properly programmed hearing aids significantly reduce the risk of falling, thus improving their overall safety and ability to lead an independent life.