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

From depression to dementia, many other health conditions are connected to your hearing health. Your hearing is linked to your health in the following ways.

1. your Hearing is Affected by Diabetes

When tested with low to mid-frequency sound, people with diabetes were twice as likely to experience mild to severe hearing loss according to a widely cited study that evaluated over 5,000 adults. Hearing loss was also more likely with high-frequency tones, 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 percent more likely to have hearing loss than people with regular blood sugar levels. A more recent meta-study found that the connection between diabetes and hearing loss was consistent, even when controlling for other variables.

So it’s pretty recognized that diabetes is connected to an increased danger of hearing impairment. But the significant question is why is there a connection. When it comes to this, science doesn’t really have the answers. Diabetes is connected to a wide range of health issues, and in particular, can lead to physical damage to the eyes, kidneys, and extremities. One theory is that the condition could affect the ears in an equivalent way, damaging blood vessels in the inner ear. But management of your general health may also be a relevant possibility. People who failed to treat or manage their diabetes had worse consequences according to one study conducted on military veterans. If you are concerned that you might be pre-diabetic or have undiagnosed diabetes, it’s essential to talk 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 has a connection to, if not accelerates, hearing loss. Even when adjusting for variables such as whether you smoke or your amount of noise exposure, the results are solid. Gender seems to be the only variable that makes a difference: If you’re a male, the link between high blood pressure and hearing loss is even stronger.

Your ears aren’t part of your circulatory system, but they’re darn close 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 those who have high blood pressure frequently suffer from tinnitus, the pulsing they’re hearing is actually their own blood pumping. That’s why this type of tinnitus is known as pulsatile tinnitus; you hear your pulse. But high blood pressure could also potentially lead to physical damage to your ears, that’s the main hypothesis behind why it would accelerate hearing loss. There’s more power behind each heartbeat if the heart is pumping harder. That could potentially harm the smaller blood arteries inside your ears. Both medical intervention and lifestyle changes can be used to help regulate 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 make an appointment to see us.

3. Dementia And Hearing Impairment

You might have a higher risk of dementia if you have hearing loss. Almost 2000 people were examined over a six year period by Johns Hopkins University, and the research revealed that even with mild hearing loss (about 25 dB), the danger of dementia rises by 24%. And the worse the level of hearing impairment, the higher the danger of dementia, according to another study carried out over a decade by the same researchers. They also uncovered a similar link to Alzheimer’s Disease. Based on these results, moderate hearing impairment puts you at 3X the risk of somebody without hearing loss. The danger increases to 4 times with severe hearing loss.

The truth is, if you’re suffering from hearing loss, you should get it evaluated and treated. It’s about your state of health.

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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.

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