12 Jun 5 Health conditions linked to hearing loss
Sometimes a hearing problem may be an indicator of another serious health issue. A change or worsening in how you hear could be a sign of an underlying condition. The following health conditions have been linked to hearing loss.
The inner ear is often believed to be the first part of the body to be affected by cardiovascular disease. The nerves in your inner ear need good blood flow in order to function properly. Without good blood flow, these fragile nerves can become damaged, leading to hearing loss.
Recent studies have reinforced the connection between hearing loss and depression. There are several likely reasons that loss of hearing leads to depression. Communication, which is vital to social interactions, becomes a major source of stress. Frequent misunderstandings can result in both, embarrassment and frustration. Not hearing well can affect relationships, increase negative emotions, and cause anxiety.
The thyroid plays an important part in regulating the body’s metabolism and producing hormones. A disorder of the thyroid can affect other body parts. The exact reason for the connection between the thyroid and hearing loss is still being investigated. Conditions like Graves disease and Hashimoto’s disease have been linked to hearing loss.
Those with diabetes are twice as likely to have a hearing problem than those without the condition. High blood sugar from diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves in the inner ear, resulting in a loss of hearing. If you’re one of the more than 30 million Americans who have diabetes, you may want to consider monitoring your hearing annually.
The relationship between hearing loss and dementia was discovered by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical University. When people cannot hear well, they strain to hear. This constant straining keeps the brain from performing at peak level. In addition, hearing loss causes people to socially withdrawal, a known risk factor for cognitive decline.
In addition to these health conditions, research has also found a correlation between hearing loss and falling. In fact, they found that people with hearing loss have 50% more accidental injuries. This is due to the decreased situational awareness and the brain using more resources for hearing and less for balance. For older adults, falls can result in emergency room visits, broken bones, brain injuries, or even death.
A hearing check is a good idea if you are experiencing any of these health conditions. Hearing tests are easy, pain-free, and can provide a wealth of information. You can schedule a free hearing exam with your local Hearing Instrument Specialist or Audiologist in San Antonio.