From depression to dementia, numerous other health conditions are linked to your hearing health. Here are just a few of the ways your hearing is related to your health.
1. your Hearing is Affected by Diabetes
When tested with low to mid-frequency sound, people with diabetes were two times as likely to have 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 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 discovered that the connection between diabetes and hearing loss was consistent, even when controlling for other variables.
So it’s pretty recognized that diabetes is linked to an increased danger of hearing loss. But the real question is why is there a link. When it comes to this, science doesn’t really have an explanation. 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 harmful impact on the blood vessels of the inner ear. But it might also be related to general health management. Individuals who failed to deal with or control their diabetes had worse outcomes according to one study conducted on military veterans. If you are worried that you may be pre-diabetic or have undiagnosed diabetes, it’s essential to speak to a doctor and have your blood sugar tested.
2. Your Ears Can be Harmed by High Blood Pressure
Numerous studies have shown that hearing loss is associated with high blood pressure, and some have found that high blood pressure could actually accelerate age-related hearing loss. Even when taking into consideration variables like whether you smoke or your amount of noise exposure, the results are consistent. The only variable that seems to matter is gender: Men with high blood pressure are at a higher danger of hearing loss.
The circulatory system and the ears have a direct relationship: Two of your body’s main arteries go right past your ears in addition to the presence of tiny blood vessels inside your ears. This is one reason why those who have 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 known as pulsatile tinnitus. But high blood pressure could also potentially lead to physical damage to your ears, that’s the main theory behind why it would speed up hearing loss. There’s more force behind each heartbeat if the heart is pumping harder. That could potentially damage the smaller blood arteries inside your ears. High blood pressure is manageable through both lifestyle changes and medical interventions. But if you think you’re suffering from 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 Impairment
You may have a greater chance of dementia if you have hearing impairment. Research from Johns Hopkins University that followed nearly 2,000 patients over six years discovered that the risk of cognitive deterioration increased by 24% with just mild hearing loss (about 25 dB). And the worse the level of hearing impairment, the higher the danger of dementia, according to another study conducted over 10 years by the same researchers. They also found a similar connection to Alzheimer’s Disease. Moderate hearing loss puts you at 3 times higher risk, based on these findings, than someone with functional hearing. The risk increases to 4 times with extreme hearing loss.
It’s essential, then, to get your hearing examined. It’s about your state of health.