From depression to dementia, numerous other health conditions are linked to the health of your hearing. Your hearing is connected to your health in the following ways.
1. your Hearing is Impacted by Diabetes
A widely-cited study that observed more than 5,000 adults determined that people who had been diagnosed with diabetes were twice as likely to endure mild or worse hearing loss when tested with low- or mid-frequency sounds. Impairment was also more likely with high-frequency sounds, but not as severe. The researchers also found that subjects who were pre-diabetic, in other words, those with blood sugar levels that are elevated but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes were 30% more likely to have hearing impairment than people with normal blood sugar levels. A more recent meta-study discovered that the link between diabetes and hearing loss was consistent, even when controlling for other variables.
So it’s fairly well recognized that diabetes is connected to an increased risk of hearing impairment. But the real question is why is there a connection. When it comes to this, science doesn’t really have an explanation. Diabetes is linked to a wide range of health problems, and particularly, can cause physical damage to the kidneys, eyes, and extremities. It’s feasible that diabetes has a similar harmful impact on the blood vessels of the inner ear. But it could also be associated with general health management. People who failed to deal with or manage their diabetes had worse consequences according to one study conducted on military veterans. It’s important to have a doctor test your blood sugar if you believe you may have undiagnosed diabetes or are pre-diabetic.
2. High Blood Pressure Can Harm Your Ears
It is well established that high blood pressure plays a part in, if not accelerates, hearing loss. Even when adjusting for variables such as whether you smoke or your amount of noise exposure, the results are solid. The only variable that seems to matter is gender: Males who have high blood pressure are at a greater danger of hearing loss.
Your ears aren’t a component of your circulatory system, but they’re in close relation to it: Besides the many 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 known as 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 damage to your ears. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more power behind each beat. The smaller blood vessels inside of your ears can be injured by this. High blood pressure is treatable through both lifestyle changes and medical interventions. But if you think you’re experiencing hearing loss, even if you think you’re too young for age-related hearing loss, you need to schedule an appointment to see us.
3. Dementia And Hearing Impairment
Hearing loss might put you at a higher chance of dementia. Research from Johns Hopkins University that observed almost 2,000 patients over the course of six years discovered that the risk of cognitive deterioration increased by 24% with just mild hearing impairment (about 25 dB). And the worse the degree of hearing impairment, the higher the danger of dementia, according to another study carried out over a decade by the same researchers. This research also revealed that Alzheimer’s had an equivalent connection to hearing loss. Moderate hearing loss puts you at 3 times higher risk, according to these findings, than someone with normal hearing. Severe hearing loss puts you at almost 4x the risk.
It’s crucial, then, to have your hearing tested. Your health depends on it.