Research shows that there is a link between hearing loss and many other health issues and diseases.
Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension
Healthy Hearing’s article Reasons for Hearing Loss names some of the medical conditions that have a strong link with hearing loss. One of these is cardiovascular disease (CVD).
“Wisconsin researchers found that people with a history of heart disease were on average 54 percent more likely to have impaired cochlear function than adults without CVD.” Studies show that the link between the two is “all about blood flow” which is explained further in Healthy Hearing’s article Hearing Loss and Heart Disease.
Research also shows that there is a link between hearing loss and some of the factors that cause CVD including high cholesterol, obesity, and high blood pressure. As explained in a post by Starkey Hearing, hypertension (high blood pressure) can accelerate hearing loss. This is based on a study which “confirmed that hypertension does effect hearing by accelerating the degeneration of the ‘hearing apparatus’ due to aging.”
Healthy Hearing’s article Hearing Care is Health Care talks about the strong link between diabetes and hearing loss: “According to the American Diabetes Association, individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss as those who do not have the disease.”
Why? “Researchers suspect the high glucose levels associated with diabetes cause damage to the blood vessels in the inner ear.”
Chronic Kidney Disease
The same article explains the findings of a study done on the link between chronic kidney disease and hearing loss: “An Australian research team discovered older adults with moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a higher prevalence of hearing loss than those without CKD. Of the 2,900 participants in the study age 50 and older, more than 54 percent of the participants with CKD reported some level of hearing loss, compared to 28 percent of participants without the disease.”
Why? “Researchers believe this is because of structural similarities between tissue of the inner ear and that of the kidney.”
Other Medical Conditions and Diseases
There are several other medical conditions that are related to hearing loss as well, such as osteoporosis. Common chemotherapy medications and other ototoxic drugs have also been linked with hearing loss, and smokers are nearly two times as likely as nonsmokers to have hearing loss.
What Can You Do?
Healthy Hearing’s answer to that question is “Get Pro-active!”
First, be aware. Be aware of the link that exists between hearing loss and other health conditions. If you suffer from any of the issues mentioned, have your hearing checked regularly, and get treated if necessary.
Second, maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can prevent or reduce the risk of developing some of these medical conditions by: eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and cutting out bad habits such as smoking.
Having your hearing checked is always a good idea, but even more so if you suffer from other medical conditions. Contact Center for Hearing today!