From depression to dementia, numerous other health problems are linked to the health of your hearing. Your hearing is connected to your health in the following ways.
1. Diabetes Impacts Your Hearing
When tested with low to mid-frequency sound, individuals with diabetes were two times as likely to have mild to severe hearing loss according to a widely cited study that looked at over 5,000 adults. With high-frequency sounds, hearing impairment was not as severe but was also more likely. This same research reported that individuals who had slightly elevated blood sugar levels (pre-diabetic) were 30% more likely to have hearing loss. A more recent meta-study revealed that the link between diabetes and hearing loss was consistent, even when controlling for other variables.
So a greater danger of hearing impairment is firmly linked to diabetes. But the real question is why is there a connection. When it comes to this, science doesn’t really have an explanation. Diabetes is connected to a wide variety of health issues, and particularly, can lead to physical damage to the eyes, kidneys, and extremities. It’s feasible that diabetes has a similar damaging impact on the blood vessels of the inner ear. But management of overall health may also be a relevant possibility. Individuals who failed to treat or manage their diabetes had worse outcomes according to one study performed on military veterans. If you are concerned that you may be pre-diabetic or have undiagnosed diabetes, it’s important to talk to a doctor and get your blood sugar tested.
2. High Blood Pressure Can Harm Your Ears
It is well known that high blood pressure has a connection to, if not accelerates, hearing loss. The results are consistent even when controlling for variables such as noise exposure and whether you’re a smoker. The only variable that appears to make a difference is gender: If you’re a man, the connection between high blood pressure and hearing loss is even greater.
Your ears aren’t a component of your circulatory system, but they’re in close relation to it: In addition to the many tiny blood vessels in your ear, two of the body’s main arteries go right near it. This is one reason why those who have high blood pressure frequently suffer from tinnitus, the pulsing they’re hearing is actually their own blood pumping. Because you can hear your own pulse with this type of tinnitus, it’s called pulsatile tinnitus. The foremost theory why high blood pressure would accelerate 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 with each beat. That could potentially harm the smaller blood arteries inside your ears. High blood pressure is manageable using both lifestyle changes and medical interventions. But if you think you’re suffering from hearing loss, even if you think you’re too young for age-related hearing loss, you need to make an appointment to see us.
3. Dementia And Hearing Loss
You may have a higher risk of dementia if you have hearing impairment. Nearly 2000 individuals were studied over a six year period by Johns Hopkins University, and the study revealed that even with mild hearing loss (about 25 dB), the risk of dementia rises by 24%. And the worse the degree of hearing impairment, the higher the danger of dementia, according to another study conducted over a decade by the same researchers. They also uncovered a similar link to Alzheimer’s Disease. Moderate hearing loss puts you at 3 times higher risk, based on these findings, than someone with normal hearing. Severe hearing loss puts you at nearly 4x the risk.
It’s crucial, then, to get your hearing tested. Your health depends on it.