Hearing Loss Related Health Issues

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

Your hearing health is linked to many other health concerns, from depression to dementia. Your hearing is linked to your health in the following ways.

1. your Hearing is Impacted by Diabetes

A widely-cited study that examined over 5,000 adults found that individuals who had been diagnosed with diabetes were twice as likely to suffer mild or worse hearing impairment when tested with low- or mid-frequency sounds. Hearing loss was also more likely with high-frequency sounds, but less severe. The researchers also found that subjects who were pre-diabetic, in other words, those with blood sugar levels that are elevated but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes were 30% more likely to have hearing impairment than those with regular blood sugar levels. And even when controlling for other variables, a more recent meta-study revealed a consistent connection between diabetes and hearing loss.

So it’s fairly well established that diabetes is connected to an increased danger of hearing impairment. But why would diabetes put you at an increased risk of suffering from hearing impairment? When it comes to this, science doesn’t really have an explanation. Diabetes is connected to a wide range of health problems, and in particular, can lead to physical damage to the kidneys, eyes, and limbs. It’s feasible that diabetes has a similar damaging impact on the blood vessels of the inner ear. But management of your general health may also be a relevant possibility. Individuals who failed to deal with or manage their diabetes had worse consequences according to one study performed on military veterans. If you are worried that you may be pre-diabetic or have undiagnosed diabetes, it’s important to speak to a doctor and have your blood sugar checked.

2. High Blood Pressure Can Damage Your Ears

It is well established that high blood pressure plays a part in, if not accelerates, hearing loss. Even when adjusting for variables like whether you smoke or your level of noise exposure, the results are consistent. Gender appears to be the only variable that makes a difference: Males with high blood pressure are at a greater risk of hearing loss.

Your ears aren’t part of your circulatory system, but they’re in close relation to it: In addition to the numerous tiny blood vessels inside your ear, two of the body’s main arteries go right by it. This is one reason why people who have high blood pressure often suffer from tinnitus, the pulsing they’re hearing is really their own blood pumping. That’s why this type of tinnitus is known as pulsatile tinnitus; you hear your pulse. The leading theory why high blood pressure would accelerate hearing loss is that high blood pressure can lead to physical harm to your ears. There’s more power behind each heartbeat if the heart is pumping harder. The smaller blood vessels in your ears can be damaged by this. High blood pressure is treatable through both lifestyle changes and medical interventions. But if you think you’re developing hearing loss, even if you think you’re not old enough for age-related hearing loss, you need to make an appointment to see us.

3. Dementia And Hearing Loss

Hearing loss may put you at a higher risk of dementia. Studies from Johns Hopkins University that observed almost 2,000 patients over six years found that the chance of cognitive impairment increased by 24% with just mild hearing impairment (about 25 dB). And the worse the level of hearing loss, the higher the risk of dementia, according to another study carried out over a decade by the same researchers. They also found a similar link to Alzheimer’s Disease. Based on these findings, moderate hearing impairment puts you at 3X the chance of somebody without hearing loss. The risk rises to 4 times with extreme hearing loss.

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



References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20373072
https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/741394/diabetes-hearing-impairment-united-states-audiometric-evidence-from-national-health
https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/hearing-loss-common-people-diabetes
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23150692
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632848/
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1108740
https://www.helpingmehear.com/hearing-aids-facts/
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2018/8541638/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3889339/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1808869415310016
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1558452
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/802291

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.