Let’s face it, there’s no escape from aging, and with it often comes hearing loss. Sure, coloring your hair may make you look younger, but it doesn’t really change your age. But you might not know that several treatable health conditions have also been related to hearing loss. Here’s a look at some examples, #2 may come as a surprise.
1. Diabetes can impact your hearing
So it’s pretty well established that diabetes is linked to a higher risk of hearing loss. But why would diabetes give you a higher risk of experiencing hearing loss? Science is at somewhat of a loss here. Diabetes is connected to a wide range of health problems, and in particular, can cause physical harm to the eyes, kidneys, and extremities. One theory is that the condition may impact the ears in a similar way, destroying blood vessels in the inner ear. But it could also be connected to general health management. A 2015 study discovered that people with neglected diabetes had worse results than individuals who were treating and managing their diabetes. If you are worried that you may be prediabetic or have overlooked diabetes, it’s essential to speak to a physician and get your blood sugar examined. And, it’s a good plan to contact us if you think your hearing might be compromised.
2. Danger of hearing loss associated falls goes up
Why would having difficulty hearing cause a fall? Though our ears play an important role in helping us balance, there are other reasons why hearing loss could get you down (in this case, very literally). Participants with hearing loss who have taken a fall were the participants of a recent study. The study didn’t detail the cause of the falls but it did conjecture that missing important sounds, such as a car honking, could be a big part of the cause. But it could also go the other way, if difficulty hearing means you’re paying more attention to sounds than to your environment, it could be easy to trip and fall. Fortunately, your danger of experiencing a fall is reduced by getting your hearing loss treated.
3. Safeguard your hearing by managing high blood pressure
Numerous studies have shown that hearing loss is linked to high blood pressure, and some have discovered that high blood pressure might actually accelerate age-related hearing loss. Clearly, this is not the kind of reassuring news that makes your blood pressure drop. But it’s a link that’s been found fairly consistently, even when controlling for variables such as noise exposure and whether you’re a smoker. (You should never smoke!) Gender appears to be the only significant variable: If you’re a male, the connection between high blood pressure and hearing loss is even stronger.
Your ears have a very close relation to your circulatory system. Along with the many tiny blood vessels inside your ear, two of the body’s main arteries go right by it. This is one reason why people with high blood pressure frequently suffer from tinnitus, the pulsing they’re hearing is actually their own blood pumping. That’s why this type of tinnitus is known as pulsatile tinnitus; you hear your pulse. But high blood pressure could also potentially result in physical damage to your ears, that’s the main theory as to why it would hasten hearing loss. Every beat of your heart will have more force if it’s pumping blood harder. The small arteries in your ears could possibly be harmed as a result. High blood pressure can be managed through both lifestyle improvements and medical treatments. But if you think you’re experiencing hearing loss, even if you believe you’re not old enough for the age-related stuff, it’s a good move to consult with us.
4. Hearing loss and cognitive decline
Even though a powerful link between mental decline and hearing loss has been well established, scientists are still not altogether sure what the connection is. A prevalent idea is that having difficulty hearing can cause people to avoid social situations and that social withdrawal, and lack of cognitive stimulation, can be debilitating. The stress of hearing loss overloading the brain is another theory. In other words, because your brain is putting so much energy into comprehending the sounds around you, you may not have much energy left for remembering things like where you put your keys. Preserving social ties and doing crosswords or “brain games” could be helpful, but so can treating hearing loss. If you’re able to hear well, social scenarios are easier to deal with, and you’ll be able to focus on the essential stuff instead of attempting to figure out what somebody just said.
Schedule an appointment with us right away if you suspect you might be experiencing hearing loss.