From depression to dementia, numerous other health problems are linked to the health of your hearing. Here are just a few of the ways your hearing is connected to your health.
1. Diabetes Affects Your Hearing
When tested with low to mid-frequency sound, individuals with diabetes were twice as likely to have mild to severe hearing loss according to a widely cited study that looked at over 5,000 adults. With high-frequency sounds, hearing impairment was not as severe but was also more likely. The researchers also found that subjects who were pre-diabetic, put simply, 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 impairment than those with normal blood sugar levels. And even when controlling for other variables, a more recent meta-study discovered a consistent link between diabetes and hearing loss.
So a greater danger of hearing impairment is solidly linked to diabetes. But the significant question is why is there a link. When it comes to this, science doesn’t really have an explanation. A whole range of health issues have been connected to diabetes, including damage to the limbs, eyes, and kidneys. It’s possible that diabetes has a similar damaging affect on the blood vessels of the inner ear. But it could also be related to general health management. Research that observed military veterans highlighted the link between hearing loss and diabetes, but specifically, it found that those with unchecked diabetes, essentially, people who are not controlling their blood sugar or otherwise taking care of the disease, suffered worse consequences. It’s important to have a doctor check your blood sugar if you believe you may have undiagnosed diabetes or are pre-diabetic.
2. Your Ears Can be Harmed by High Blood Pressure
It is well known that high blood pressure plays a part in, if not accelerates, hearing loss. The results are consistent even when controlling for variables like noise exposure and whether you smoke. The only variable that seems to matter is gender: Men who have high blood pressure are at a higher 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 primary arteries go right by it. Individuals with high blood pressure, often, can hear their own blood pumping and this is the source of their tinnitus. That’s why this kind of tinnitus is called pulsatile tinnitus; you hear your pulse. The foremost theory why high blood pressure would speed up hearing loss is that high blood pressure can result in physical harm to your ears. There’s more power with every heartbeat if the heart is pumping harder. The smaller blood vessels in your ears can be damaged by this. High blood pressure is manageable 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 schedule an appointment to see us.
3. Hearing Impairment And Dementia
Hearing loss may put you at a greater chance of dementia. Nearly 2000 individuals were studied over a six year period by Johns Hopkins University, and the study revealed that even with minor hearing loss (about 25 dB), the danger of dementia increases by 24%. And the worse the degree of hearing loss, the higher the risk of dementia, according to another study carried out over 10 years by the same researchers. They also found a similar link to Alzheimer’s Disease. Moderate hearing loss puts you at 3 times higher risk, according to these findings, than somebody with normal hearing. Severe hearing loss puts you at nearly 4x the risk.
It’s essential, then, to get your hearing tested. It’s about your state of health.