Aging is one of the most common indicators of hearing loss, and let’s face it, try as we may, we can’t escape aging. Sure, coloring your hair might make you look younger, but it doesn’t actually change your age. But you might not know that numerous treatable health conditions have also been associated with hearing loss. Here’s a look at a few examples, #2 may come as a surprise.
1. Your hearing can be impacted by diabetes
The fact that hearing loss and diabetes have a connection is pretty well understood. But why would you have a higher danger of developing hearing loss if you have diabetes? Well, science doesn’t have all the answers here. Diabetes is known to damage the kidneys, eyes, and extremities. Blood vessels in the inner ear might, theoretically, be getting destroyed in a similar way. But it could also be related to general health management. A 2015 study revealed that people with neglected diabetes had worse results than individuals who were treating and managing their diabetes. It’s significant to get your blood sugar tested if you believe you may have undiagnosed diabetes or are prediabetic. And, it’s a good plan to contact us if you think your hearing might be compromised.
2. Risk of hearing loss related falls goes up
Why would your chance of falling increase if you have hearing loss? Even though our ears play an important role in helping us balance, there are other reasons why hearing loss might get you down (in this case, very literally). A study was conducted on individuals who have hearing loss who have recently fallen. The study didn’t go into detail about the cause of the falls but it did speculate that missing significant sounds, such as a car honking, could be a large part of the cause. At the same time, if you’re struggling to pay close attention to the sounds around you, you could be distracted to your environment and that may also lead to a higher danger of having a fall. The good news here is that treating hearing loss could potentially decrease your danger of having a fall.
3. Protect your hearing by controlling high blood pressure
Multiple studies have shown that hearing loss is linked to high blood pressure, and some have discovered that high blood pressure may actually accelerate age-related hearing loss. This kind of news might make you feel like your blood pressure is actually going up. But it’s a connection that’s been discovered fairly consistently, even when controlling for variables like noise exposure and whether you’re a smoker. (You should never smoke!) The only variable that makes a difference appears to be sex: The link 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. Two of your body’s principal arteries run right by your ears and it consists of many tiny blood vessels. The noise that individuals hear when they experience tinnitus is frequently their own blood pumping due to high blood pressure. That’s why this type of tinnitus is called pulsatile tinnitus; you hear your pulse. The leading theory why high blood pressure can cause hearing loss is that it can actually do physical damage to the vessels in the ears. Every beat of your heart will have more force if it’s pumping blood harder. That could possibly damage the smaller blood arteries in your ears. High blood pressure is manageable through both lifestyle modifications and medical treatments. But if you think you’re dealing with hearing loss, even if you feel like you’re too young for the age-related stuff, it’s a good idea to consult with us.
4. Hearing loss and dementia
Even though a powerful link between cognitive decline and hearing loss has been well established, scientists are still not completely sure what the link is. A common theory is that having difficulty hearing can cause people to stay away from social situations and that social detachment, and lack of mental stimulation, can be incapacitating. The stress of hearing loss overloading the brain is another idea. When your brain is working overtime to process sound, there might not be very much brainpower left for things like memory. Playing “brain games” and keeping your social life intact can be really helpful but the number one thing you can do is treat your hearing loss. If you’re able to hear clearly, social scenarios are easier to deal with, and you’ll be able to focus on the essential stuff instead of trying to figure out what someone just said.
Make an appointment with us right away if you think you may be experiencing hearing loss.