Let’s face it, there’s no escape from aging, and with it often comes hearing loss. Sure, dyeing your hair might make you look younger, but it doesn’t actually change your age. But you may not know that numerous treatable health conditions have also been associated with hearing loss. Let’s have a look at some examples that might surprise you.
1. Your hearing could be impacted by diabetes
The fact that hearing loss and diabetes have a connection is fairly well understood. But why would diabetes give you a higher risk of experiencing hearing loss? Well, science doesn’t provide all the answers here. Diabetes is known to harm the kidneys, eyes, and extremities. Blood vessels in the inner ear might, theoretically, be getting damaged in a similar way. But general health management might also be a consideration. A 2015 study that looked at U.S. military veterans highlighted the link between hearing loss and diabetes, but specifically, it found that those with unchecked diabetes, in other words, people who are not managing their blood sugar or alternatively treating the disease, suffered worse outcomes. It’s significant to get your blood sugar checked if you believe you may have undiagnosed diabetes or are prediabetic. And, it’s a good plan to get in touch with us if you think your hearing may be compromised.
2. Danger of hearing loss related falls goes up
Why would your chance of falling go up if you have hearing loss? Our sense of balance is, to some degree, regulated by our ears. But there are other reasons why falling is more likely if you have hearing loss. A study was carried out on individuals who have hearing loss who have recently fallen. The study didn’t detail the cause of the falls but it did speculate that missing important sounds, such as a car honking, could be a huge part of the cause. At the same time, if you’re struggling to concentrate on the sounds nearby, you may be distracted to your environment and that may also lead to a higher danger of having a fall. Luckily, your risk of experiencing a fall is reduced by having your hearing loss treated.
3. Control high blood pressure to protect your hearing
High blood pressure and hearing loss have been closely linked in some studies indicating that high blood pressure might accelerate hearing loss related to the aging process. This sort of news might make you feel like your blood pressure is actually rising. Even when variables such as noise exposure or smoking are taken into account, the link has consistently been seen. (Please don’t smoke.) Gender seems to be the only important variable: If you’re a male, the link between high blood pressure and hearing loss is even stronger.
Your ears have a very close relation to your circulatory system. Two of your body’s main arteries are positioned right by your ears and it consists of many tiny blood vessels. The sound that individuals hear when they experience tinnitus is frequently their own blood pumping as a consequence of high blood pressure. That’s why this type of tinnitus is called pulsatile tinnitus; you hear your pulse. But high blood pressure could also potentially result in physical harm to your ears, that’s the main theory as to why it would hasten hearing loss. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more force behind each beat. That could potentially harm the smaller blood arteries in your ears. Through medical treatment and lifestyle change, it is possible to manage high blood pressure. But if you suspect you’re dealing with hearing loss, even if you think you’re too young for the age-related stuff, it’s a good move to consult with us.
4. Dementia and hearing loss
Even though a powerful link between cognitive decline and hearing loss has been well established, scientists are still not entirely certain what the link is. The most prevalent concept is that people with neglected hearing loss often retreat from social interaction and become debilitated by lack of stimulation. The stress of hearing loss straining the brain is another theory. When your brain is working overtime to process sound, there may not be very much brainpower left for things like memory. Preserving social ties and doing crosswords or “brain games” could be beneficial, but so can managing hearing loss. If you’re able to hear well, social situations are easier to deal with, and you’ll be able to focus on the essential stuff instead of trying to figure out what someone just said.
Schedule an appointment with us right away if you suspect you might be experiencing hearing loss.