Aging is one of the most typical indicators of hearing loss, and let’s face it, try as we may, we can’t escape aging. You can take some steps to look younger but you’re still aging. But you might not know that several treatable health conditions have also been related to hearing loss. Let’s have a look at some examples that may be surprising.
1. Diabetes can affect your hearing
The fact that hearing loss and diabetes have a link is fairly well understood. But why would diabetes put you at a higher risk of developing hearing loss? Well, science doesn’t provide all the solutions here. Diabetes is linked to a wide range of health issues, and specifically, can cause physical harm to the eyes, kidneys, and extremities. Blood vessels in the inner ear may, theoretically, be getting damaged in a similar way. But overall health management might also be a factor. A 2015 study revealed that people with overlooked diabetes had worse outcomes than people who were treating and managing their diabetes. It’s important to get your blood sugar tested if you suspect you might have undiagnosed diabetes or are prediabetic. And, it’s a good plan to call us if you think your hearing may be compromised.
2. Danger of hearing loss related falls increases
Why would your chance of falling go up if you have hearing loss? Our sense of balance is, to some degree, managed by our ears. But there are other reasons why falling is more likely if you have loss of hearing. Research was carried out on individuals who have hearing loss who have recently had a fall. The study didn’t go into detail about the cause of the falls but it did speculate that missing significant sounds, such as a car honking, could be a large part of the cause. At the same time, if you’re working hard to concentrate on the sounds around you, you could be distracted to your environment and that might also lead to a higher danger of falling. Luckily, your risk of having a fall is decreased by getting your hearing loss treated.
3. Safeguard your hearing by managing high blood pressure
Multiple studies have shown that hearing loss is associated with high blood pressure, and some have discovered that high blood pressure could actually hasten age-related hearing loss. This sort of news may make you feel like your blood pressure is actually rising. Even when variables like noise exposure or smoking are taken into account, the link has persistently been found. (You should never smoke!) The only variable that makes a difference appears to be sex: The connection between hearing loss and high blood pressure is even stronger if you’re a male.
Your ears have a very close relation to your circulatory system. Two of your body’s principal arteries run right near your ears and it consists of many tiny blood vessels. The sound that individuals hear when they have tinnitus is often their own blood pumping as a consequence of high blood pressure. When your tinnitus symptoms are caused by your own pulse, it’s called pulsatile tinnitus. The primary theory why high blood pressure can bring about hearing loss is that it can actually do physical harm to the vessels in the ears. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more pressure behind each beat. That could possibly harm the smaller blood arteries inside of your ears. High blood pressure is manageable through both lifestyle changes and medical treatments. But if you suspect you’re dealing with hearing loss, even if you believe you’re too young for the age-related stuff, it’s a good move to consult with us.
4. Hearing loss and cognitive decline
Even though a powerful link between mental decline and hearing loss has been well established, scientists are still not completely sure what the link is. A common idea is that having difficulty hearing can cause people to avoid social situations and that social withdrawal, and lack of mental stimulation, can be incapacitating. The stress of hearing loss overloading the brain is another idea. When your brain is working extra hard to process sound, there may not be much brainpower left for things like memory. Maintaining social ties and doing crosswords or “brain games” could be helpful, but so can treating hearing loss. If you’re able to hear well, social scenarios are easier to deal with, and you’ll be able to focus on the essential stuff instead of attempting to figure out what someone just said.
If you’re worried that you may be suffering from hearing loss, make an appointment with us right away.