Let’s face it, there’s no getting away from aging, and with it often comes hearing loss. Sure, dyeing your hair might make you look younger, but it doesn’t actually change your age. But you might not be aware that numerous treatable health conditions have also been related to hearing loss. Let’s have a look at some examples that may be surprising.
1. Diabetes could affect your hearing
The fact that hearing loss and diabetes have a connection is fairly well established. But why would you have an increased danger of developing hearing loss if you have diabetes? Science is at somewhat of a loss here. Diabetes has been known to damage the kidneys, eyes, and extremities. Blood vessels in the inner ear might, theoretically, be getting destroyed in a similar way. But general health management might also be a consideration. A 2015 study discovered that individuals with neglected diabetes had worse outcomes than individuals who were treating and managing their diabetes. If you are concerned that you might be prediabetic or have overlooked diabetes, it’s essential to speak to a doctor and have your blood sugar checked. And, it’s a good idea to call us if you think your hearing may be compromised.
2. Increased danger of falling associated with hearing loss
Why would your risk of falling increase if you have hearing loss? Our sense of balance is, to some degree, regulated by our ears. But there are other reasons why falling is more likely if you have loss of hearing. Participants with hearing loss who have taken a fall were the participants of a recent study. Although 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 problem. At the same time, if you’re struggling to concentrate on the sounds around you, you could be distracted to your environment and that could also lead to a higher danger of having a fall. The good news here is that treating hearing loss could potentially reduce your danger of having a fall.
3. Safeguard your hearing by treating high blood pressure
Numerous studies have shown that hearing loss is connected to high blood pressure, and some have discovered that high blood pressure may actually speed up age-related hearing loss. This sort of news might make you feel like your blood pressure is actually rising. But it’s a link that’s been discovered fairly consistently, even when controlling for variables such as noise exposure and whether you’re a smoker. (Please don’t smoke.) The only variable that makes a difference seems to be sex: The link between hearing loss and high blood pressure is even stronger if you’re a male.
Your ears have a very close relation to your circulatory system. Along with the many tiny blood vessels inside of your ear, two of the body’s main arteries go right by it. The noise that individuals hear when they have tinnitus is frequently their own blood pumping due to high blood pressure. When your tinnitus symptoms are the result of your own pulse, it’s called pulsatile tinnitus. The leading theory why high blood pressure can cause hearing loss is that it can actually cause physical harm to the vessels in the ears. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more force behind each beat. The little arteries in your ears could possibly be harmed as a consequence. High blood pressure is manageable through both lifestyle changes and medical treatments. But if you suspect you’re experiencing hearing loss, even if you think you’re too young for the age-related stuff, it’s a good move to speak 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 completely certain what the connection is. A prevalent idea is that having problems hearing can cause people to avoid social situations and that social withdrawal, and lack of cognitive stimulation, can be incapacitating. Another concept is that hearing loss taxes your brain. When your brain is working extra hard to process sound, there might not be very much brainpower left for things like memory. Preserving social ties and doing crosswords or “brain games” could be helpful, but so can managing hearing loss. Social engagements will be easier when you can hear clearly and instead of struggling to hear what people are saying, you can focus on the important stuff.
Make an appointment with us as soon as possible if you think you might be experiencing hearing loss.