Navigation Links
Study to test whether hearing aids can help prevent falls
Date:2/6/2013

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 between The University of Texas at Dallas and 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.

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.

The study will help identify people at risk of falling and evaluate the effects of different types of hearing aid technologies on balance and gait. Subjects with and without hearing loss, while wearing or not wearing the hearing aids, will be monitored as they stand, walk and perform routine daily tasks while repeating words or sentences that are played in the surrounding environment.

Participants will stand or walk on a treadmill through different virtual environments, such as a walk in the forest. The researchers want to evaluate the participants in "normal" daily environments. Previous studies of hearing and balance rarely replicated real-life situations, so results were questionable, said Dr. Linda Thibodeau, a professor in UT Dallas' School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and the chief investigator for the UT Dallas team.

The study also will provide volunteer subjects with overall assessments of their hearing and balance systems. The auditory and vestibular testing and hearing aid fitting will take place at the UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders. If a hearing loss is confirmed, the audiologist will perform a hearing aid evaluation and selection.

People with hearing loss will be equipped with bilateral hearing aids and FM systems for a six-week period. The study requires four to five visits, taking a total of 10 to 12 hours, scheduled over a period of six to eight weeks.

The second phase of the study, looking at balance and mobility, will take place at the UNT center in Fort Worth. Dr. Nicoleta Bugnariu, associate professor at UNT, is lead investigator for the project.

Reflective sensors will be placed on the arms, legs and the body to measure patients' various aspects of gait and balance. A harness is provided for patient safety during the testing.

Researchers will compare the base-line test results gathered before amplification with the results noted after six weeks of amplification to determine whether balance improves when the participant is able to hear better in the noisy environment.

The investigators are seeking 10 adults, ages 50 to 80 years, who have normal hearing and another 10 who have hearing loss but have never worn a hearing aid.

"We anticipate that there will be increased cognitive resources available to devote to balance and gait when the hearing aids or assistive devices are worn," Thibodeau said. "But until we observe these individuals in situations that are created to simulate normal day-to-day environments, we can't be certain of the effects. This study could go a long way toward helping us understand the importance of hearing and how it affects many other aspects of a person's well-being."


'/>"/>

Contact: Emily Martinez
emily.martinez@utdallas.edu
214-905-3049
University of Texas at Dallas
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
3. Coffee Drinking in Pregnancy Wont Lead to Sleepless Baby: Study
4. Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
5. Veggies Like Broccoli, Cabbage May Help Fight Breast Cancer: Study
6. No Added Cancer Risk From Hip Replacement Materials: Study
7. Reported Decline in U.S. Pneumonia Deaths May Be False: Study
8. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
9. Narcissists Often Ace Job Interviews, Study Finds
10. Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, MU study finds
11. Soy may alleviate hot flashes in menopause, large-scale study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a ... and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is ... to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by ... to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from ... the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, ... ... with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women ... intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin ... of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical ... and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Aliso Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... preset to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film ... all fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling report ... are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to ... a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst ... to only four states – Kentucky , ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and ... platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration ... of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be ... is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today that it has ... Horizon Award . One of 12 suppliers ... for its support of Premier members through exceptional local ... and commitment to lower costs. ... of our outstanding customer service from Premier," says ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: