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 evaluated over 5,000 adults determined that people who had been diagnosed with diabetes were twice as likely to experience mild or worse hearing impairment when tested with low- or mid-frequency sounds. Impairment was also more likely with high-frequency sounds, but not as severe. The researchers also found that subjects who were pre-diabetic, in other words, those who have 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 those with regular blood sugar levels. A more recent meta-study found that the link between diabetes and hearing loss was consistent, even when controlling for other variables.
So it’s pretty established that diabetes is related to an increased risk of hearing loss. But the significant question is why is there a connection. Science is at a bit of a loss here. Diabetes is connected to a wide variety of health concerns, and in particular, can lead to physical damage to the kidneys, eyes, and extremities. It’s possible that diabetes has a similar damaging impact on the blood vessels of the inner ear. But management of your general health could also be a relevant possibility. Individuals who failed to deal with or manage their diabetes had worse consequences according to one study conducted on military veterans. It’s important to have a doctor test your blood sugar if you believe you may have undiagnosed diabetes or are pre-diabetic.
2. High Blood Pressure Can Harm Your Ears
It is well known that high blood pressure plays a part in, if not accelerates, hearing loss. Even when adjusting for variables such as whether you smoke or your level of noise exposure, the results are consistent. The only variable that seems to matter is gender: Males who have high blood pressure are at a greater danger of hearing loss.
Your ears aren’t a component of your circulatory system, but they’re darn close to it: Besides the numerous tiny blood vessels inside your ear, two of the body’s main arteries run right near it. This is one reason why people with high blood pressure often 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 known as pulsatile tinnitus. But high blood pressure could also potentially cause physical harm to your ears, that’s the main theory behind why it would accelerate hearing loss. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more power behind each beat. The smaller blood vessels in your ears can be injured by this. High blood pressure is treatable using both lifestyle changes and medical interventions. 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. Hearing Loss And Dementia
You may have a greater chance of dementia if you have hearing loss. Studies from Johns Hopkins University that followed nearly 2,000 people over six years found that the risk of cognitive impairment increased by 24% with just mild hearing impairment (about 25 dB). And the worse the degree of hearing impairment, the higher the danger of dementia, according to another study carried out over a decade by the same researchers. These studies also revealed that Alzheimer’s had an equivalent link to hearing loss. Moderate hearing loss puts you at 3 times higher risk, according to these findings, than somebody with normal hearing. The danger increases to 4 times with severe hearing loss.
The truth is, if you’re suffering from hearing loss, you need to get it tested and treated. It’s about your state of health.