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 do some things to look younger but you’re still aging. But you might not be aware that a number of treatable health conditions have also been associated with hearing loss. Let’s have a look at some examples that might surprise you.
1. Your hearing can be affected by diabetes
The fact that hearing loss and diabetes have a connection is pretty well understood. But why would you have an increased danger of developing hearing loss if you have diabetes? Science is at a bit of a loss here. Diabetes is connected to a wide range of health problems, and specifically, can cause physical harm to the eyes, kidneys, and extremities. Blood vessels in the inner ear might, theoretically, be getting damaged in a similar way. But it could also be connected to overall health management. A 2015 study revealed that individuals with neglected diabetes had worse results than people 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. By the same token, if you have difficulty hearing, it’s a good idea to reach out to us.
2. Increased risk of falling associated with hearing loss
Why would your chance of falling go up if you have hearing loss? Although our ears play an important part in helping us balance, there are other reasons why hearing loss could get you down (in this case, quite literally). A study was conducted on individuals who have hearing loss who have recently had a fall. Though this study didn’t delve into the cause of the subjects’ falls, the authors speculated that having difficulty hearing what’s around you (and missing important sounds such as a car honking) could be one issue. But it might 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 stumble and fall. The good news here is that treating hearing loss could potentially reduce your danger of suffering a fall.
3. Safeguard your hearing by controlling high blood pressure
Several studies have revealed that hearing loss is linked to high blood pressure, and some have found that high blood pressure might actually hasten age-related hearing loss. Obviously, this isn’t the sort of comforting news that makes your blood pressure drop. But it’s a connection that’s been discovered rather consistently, even when controlling for variables like noise exposure and whether you’re a smoker. (Please don’t smoke.) The only variable that makes a difference seems to be gender: The link between hearing loss and high blood pressure is even stronger if you’re a man.
Your ears aren’t a component of your circulatory system, but they’re really close to it. Along with the many tiny blood vessels inside of your ear, two of the body’s principal arteries go right by it. This is one reason why people with high blood pressure often 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. The leading theory why high blood pressure can cause 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. The small arteries in your ears could potentially be damaged as a result. Through medical treatment and lifestyle change, it is possible to manage high blood pressure. But if you think you’re experiencing hearing loss, even if you believe you’re too young for the age-related stuff, it’s a good idea to consult with us.
4. Cognitive decline and hearing loss
Even though a powerful connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss has been well established, scientists are still not altogether certain what the connection is. A prevalent idea is that having problems hearing can cause people to avoid social situations and that social detachment, and lack of mental stimulation, can be debilitating. The stress of hearing loss overloading the brain is another idea. When your brain is working overtime to process sound, there may not be much brainpower left for things like memory. Playing “brain games” and keeping your social life active can be very helpful but the best thing you can do is manage your hearing loss. If you’re able to hear well, social situations are easier to handle, and you’ll be able to focus on the important stuff instead of attempting to figure out what someone just said.
Make an appointment with us right away if you suspect you might be experiencing hearing loss.