Aging is one of the most typical indicators of hearing loss, and let’s face it, try as we may, we can’t avoid aging. You can take some steps to look younger but you’re still aging. But you may not be aware that a number of treatable health conditions have also been associated with hearing loss. Let’s take a look at some examples that might surprise you.
1. Diabetes could impact your hearing
The fact that hearing loss and diabetes have a connection is fairly well recognized. But why would diabetes give you a higher risk of suffering from hearing loss? Science is at a bit of a loss here. Diabetes has been known to harm the kidneys, eyes, and extremities. Blood vessels in the inner ear may, theoretically, be getting damaged in a similar way. But it could also be linked to general health management. A 2015 study that looked at U.S. military veterans underscored the connection between hearing loss and diabetes, but in particular, it found that those with uncontrolled diabetes, in other words, individuals who are not controlling their blood sugar or alternatively treating the disease, suffered worse outcomes. If you are worried that you might be prediabetic or have overlooked diabetes, it’s important to speak to a doctor and get your blood sugar evaluated. And, it’s a good idea to call us if you think your hearing may be compromised.
2. Risk of hearing loss associated falls goes up
Why would your chance of falling go up if you have hearing loss? Even though our ears play an important part in helping us balance, there are other reasons why hearing loss could get you down (in this case, very literally). People with hearing loss who have taken a fall were the subjects of a recent study. The study didn’t go into detail about the cause of the falls but it did conjecture that missing significant sounds, like a car honking, could be a huge 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 surroundings, it could be easy to stumble and fall. Luckily, your danger of having a fall is decreased by having your hearing loss treated.
3. Protect your hearing by treating high blood pressure
Several studies have revealed that hearing loss is linked to high blood pressure, and some have found that high blood pressure may actually speed up age-related hearing loss. This sort of news may make you feel like your blood pressure is actually going up. Even when variables such as noise exposure or smoking are taken into consideration, the link has consistently been seen. (Please don’t smoke.) Gender seems to be the only appreciable variable: The connection between hearing loss and high blood pressure is even stronger if you’re a man.
Your ears have a very close relation to your circulatory system. In addition to the many tiny blood vessels inside your ear, two of the body’s main arteries run right by it. The sound that people hear when they have 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. The primary theory why high blood pressure can bring about hearing loss is that it can actually do physical harm to the vessels in the ears. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more pressure behind each beat. That could possibly harm the smaller blood arteries in your ears. High blood pressure can be managed through both lifestyle improvements and medical interventions. 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. Cognitive decline and hearing loss
Even though a powerful connection between mental decline and hearing loss has been well established, scientists are still not entirely sure what the connection is. The most widespread concept is that people with neglected hearing loss often retreat from social interaction and become debilitated by lack of stimulus. The stress of hearing loss overloading the brain is another idea. In other words, because your brain is putting so much energy into understanding the sounds around you, you may not have much energy left for remembering things like where you put your keys. Playing “brain games” and keeping your social life intact can be really helpful but the number one thing you can do is manage your hearing loss. Social engagements will be easier when you can hear clearly and instead of battling to hear what people are saying, you can focus on the essential stuff.
Make an appointment with us as soon as possible if you suspect you may be experiencing hearing loss.