From depression to dementia, numerous other health problems are connected to the health of your hearing. Your hearing is related to your health in the following ways.
1. your Hearing is Affected by Diabetes
A widely-cited study that observed over 5,000 adults revealed that people who had been diagnosed with diabetes were twice as likely to suffer mild or worse hearing loss when tested with low- or mid-frequency sounds. With high-frequency sounds, hearing loss was not as severe but was also more likely. This same research revealed that people who had slightly elevated blood sugar levels (pre-diabetic) were 30% more likely to have hearing loss. And even when controlling for other variables, a more recent meta-study revealed a consistent link between hearing loss and diabetes.
So an increased risk of hearing loss is solidly connected to diabetes. But why would diabetes put you at an increased danger of experiencing hearing impairment? When it comes to this, science doesn’t really have the answers. A whole variety of health concerns have been linked to diabetes, including damage to the extremities, kidneys, and eyes. One theory is that the condition could impact the ears in an equivalent way, damaging blood vessels in the inner ear. But management of your general health may also be a relevant possibility. Individuals who failed to treat or manage their diabetes had worse consequences according to one study performed on military veterans. If you are worried that you may be pre-diabetic or have undiagnosed diabetes, it’s important to talk to a doctor and have your blood sugar tested.
2. High Blood Pressure Can Damage Your Ears
Numerous studies have demonstrated that hearing loss is connected to 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 level of noise exposure, the results are solid. The only variable that appears to make a difference is gender: Males who have high blood pressure are at a higher risk of hearing loss.
The ears and the circulatory system have a direct relationship: Besides the numerous tiny blood vessels in your ear, two of the body’s primary arteries run right near it. This is one reason why those who have high blood pressure frequently suffer from tinnitus, the pulsing they’re hearing is really their own blood pumping. That’s why this kind of tinnitus is called pulsatile tinnitus; you hear your pulse. The leading theory why high blood pressure would speed up hearing loss is that high blood pressure can result in physical harm to your ears. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more force behind every beat. That could potentially damage the smaller blood arteries inside your ears. High blood pressure is treatable using both lifestyle changes and medical interventions. But if you think you’re developing hearing impairment, even if you think you’re not old enough for age-related hearing loss, you need to schedule an appointment to see us.
3. Hearing Impairment And Dementia
Hearing loss might put you at a higher chance of dementia. Research from Johns Hopkins University that followed almost 2,000 patients over the course of six years discovered that the chance of cognitive impairment increased by 24% with just mild hearing loss (about 25 dB). And the worse the level of hearing loss, the higher the danger of dementia, according to another study conducted over a decade by the same researchers. They also found a similar connection to Alzheimer’s Disease. Moderate hearing loss puts you at 3 times higher risk, according to these findings, than someone with normal hearing. The risk goes up to 4 times with severe hearing loss.
It’s essential, then, to get your hearing tested. It’s about your state of health.