Hearing Loss Related Health Problems

Woman rubbing her leg after a fall because she couldn’t hear.

From depression to dementia, numerous other health conditions are linked to the health of your hearing. Here are just a few of the ways your hearing is related to your health.

1. your Hearing is Affected by Diabetes

A widely-cited study that looked at over 5,000 adults revealed that individuals who had been diagnosed with diabetes were twice as likely to experience mild or worse hearing loss when tested with low- or mid-frequency sounds. Impairment was also more likely with high-frequency sounds, but not as severe. This same research reported that individuals who had slightly elevated blood sugar levels (pre-diabetic) were 30% more likely to have hearing impairment. A more recent meta-study found that the link between diabetes and hearing loss was consistent, even when controlling for other variables.

So a greater danger of hearing impairment is firmly connected to diabetes. But why would diabetes put you at an increased risk of suffering from hearing loss? When it comes to this, science doesn’t really have an explanation. Diabetes is linked to a wide variety of health concerns, and particularly, can cause physical damage to the eyes, kidneys, and extremities. It’s possible that diabetes has a similar harmful affect on the blood vessels of the inner ear. But management of your general health may also be a relevant possibility. A study that looked at military veterans underscored the connection between hearing impairment and diabetes, but in particular, it revealed that those with unchecked diabetes, in other words, individuals who are not managing their blood sugar or otherwise taking care of the disease, suffered worse outcomes. It’s important to have a doctor check your blood sugar if you suspect you may have undiagnosed diabetes or are pre-diabetic.

2. Your Ears Can be Harmed by High Blood Pressure

Multiple studies have demonstrated that hearing loss is connected to high blood pressure, and some have found that high blood pressure could actually speed up age-related hearing loss. The results are consistent even when taking into consideration variables such as noise exposure and whether you smoke. The only variable that seems to make a difference is gender: Males who have high blood pressure are at a higher danger of hearing loss.

The ears and the circulatory system have a direct relationship: In addition to the numerous tiny blood vessels in your ear, two of the body’s main arteries go right near it. This is one reason why those with high blood pressure frequently experience tinnitus, the pulsing they’re hearing is actually their own blood pumping. Because you can hear your own pulse with this kind of tinnitus, it’s called pulsatile tinnitus. But high blood pressure could also potentially lead to physical harm to your ears, that’s the main hypothesis behind why it would accelerate hearing loss. There’s more power with every heartbeat if the heart is pumping harder. The smaller blood vessels in your ears can be damaged by this. Both medical intervention and lifestyle changes can be used to help manage high blood pressure. But if you think you’re experiencing hearing loss, even if you think you’re not old enough for age-related hearing loss, you should schedule an appointment to see us.

3. Hearing Loss And Dementia

You may have a greater chance of dementia if you have hearing impairment. Almost 2000 people were examined over a six year period by Johns Hopkins University, and the study revealed that even with minor hearing loss (about 25 dB), the danger of dementia rises by 24%. Another study by the same researchers, which followed subjects over more than 10 years, found that the worse a subject’s hearing was, the more likely that he or she would develop dementia. These studies also demonstrated that Alzheimer’s had a similar connection to hearing loss. Based on these results, moderate hearing loss puts you at 3X the risk of somebody without hearing loss. The danger rises to 4 times with severe hearing loss.

It’s crucial, then, to get your hearing tested. It’s about your state of health.



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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.