From depression to dementia, numerous other health conditions are linked to your hearing health. Here are just a few of the ways your hearing is linked to your health.
1. Diabetes Impacts Your Hearing
A widely-cited study that looked at over 5,000 adults determined that individuals who had been diagnosed with diabetes were twice as likely to experience mild or worse hearing loss when tested with low- or mid-frequency sounds. With high-frequency sounds, hearing loss was not as severe but was also more likely. The researchers also found that subjects who were pre-diabetic, in other words, those who have blood sugar levels that are elevated but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes were 30 percent more likely to have hearing loss than people with regular blood sugar levels. And even when controlling for other variables, a more recent meta-study discovered a consistent connection between diabetes and hearing loss.
So it’s pretty recognized that diabetes is related to an increased danger of hearing loss. But why would diabetes put you at an increased danger of experiencing hearing impairment? Science is at somewhat of a loss here. Diabetes is connected to a wide variety of health problems, and particularly, can cause physical damage to the eyes, kidneys, and limbs. It’s feasible that diabetes has a similar harmful affect on the blood vessels of the inner ear. But management of overall health might also be a relevant possibility. People who failed to deal with or control their diabetes had worse outcomes according to one study carried out on military veterans. If you are worried that you may be pre-diabetic or have undiagnosed diabetes, it’s essential to consult with a doctor and have your blood sugar tested.
2. Your Ears Can be Damaged by High Blood Pressure
Multiple studies have revealed that hearing loss is associated with high blood pressure, and some have found that high blood pressure may actually accelerate age-related hearing loss. Even when adjusting for variables like whether you smoke or your level of noise exposure, the results are solid. The only variable that appears to make a difference is gender: If you’re a man, the link between high blood pressure and hearing loss is even stronger.
Your ears aren’t part of your circulatory system, but they’re in close relation to it: Two of your body’s main arteries go right past your ears besides the presence of tiny blood vessels in your ears. People with high blood pressure, in many cases, can hear their own blood pumping and this is the source of their tinnitus. Because you can hear your own pulse with this kind of tinnitus, it’s known as pulsatile tinnitus. But high blood pressure could also potentially lead to physical damage to your ears, that’s the main theory behind why it would speed up hearing loss. There’s more force behind every heartbeat if the heart is pumping harder. That could potentially injure the smaller blood arteries inside your ears. Both medical intervention and lifestyle changes can be used to help manage high blood pressure. But you need to make an appointment for a hearing test if you suspect you are experiencing any amount of hearing loss.
3. Dementia And Hearing Loss
You might have a greater chance of dementia if you have hearing impairment. Almost 2000 individuals were studied over a six year period by Johns Hopkins University, and the study revealed that even with minor hearing loss (about 25 dB), the danger of dementia increases by 24%. And the worse the degree of hearing loss, the higher the risk of dementia, according to another study carried out over 10 years by the same researchers. They also uncovered a similar link to Alzheimer’s Disease. Based on these findings, moderate hearing impairment puts you at 3X the risk of somebody without hearing loss. The danger increases to 4 times with severe hearing loss.
The truth is, if you’re suffering from hearing loss, you should get it tested and treated. It’s about your state of health.