UT Dallas researchers are recruiting patients for a new study aimed at determining a connection between hearing deficits and the likelihood of falls.
The research project, a collaboration with the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, is evaluating how much hearing aids and other technologies might improve balance and prevent falls for people with auditory problems.
UT Dallas Participating in Hearing-Balance Study using a treadmillParticipants will stand or walk on a treadmill in different virtual environments, such as a simulated forest, to test balance issues. Harnesses will provide patient safety.

One-third of older adults fall each year, according to recent national studies. The resulting injuries can be life-threatening.
A person’s sense of balance relies heavily on the vestibular system of the inner ear, as well as on information gained from the senses of sight, touch and hearing. Previous research on falls has focused on the roles played by visual, cognitive or motor impairments. But recent studies suggest that people with hearing loss also may be at greater risk of falling.
More than half of adults over the age of 65 experience hearing loss. About 65 percent of them seek no treatment.
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