The Role of Ears in the Balance System

a man balancing

Balance disorders come in many forms, each with a debilitating effect. The ability to orient to our surroundings is crucial not only to mobilizing on two legs but also to avoiding dizziness and the feeling that the room is spinning. Others with vertigo may feel suddenly faint and disoriented, seemingly out of the blue. Like walking on a tight rope or a balance beam, we use our senses to take stock of the environment, checking in on subtle changes in distance, elevation, and pressure. With so many variables in the natural world, it is remarkable that we are able to …

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Hearing Loss and Sleep

A woman sleeping in a dark room.

When you think about the relationship between hearing and sleep, you may recall a time when you heard too much to sleep. A noisy environment can be quite distracting when you are trying to let your mind go to rest, and we have all experienced interruptions to the sleeping process due to sound at one time or another. Indeed, unwanted sounds can get in the way of restful, deep sleep, but we might be curious, on the other hand, about the relationship between sleep and hearing loss. Does hearing loss actually make it easier to sleep, due to the lack …

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