Your hearing health is connected to numerous other health concerns, from depression to dementia. Your hearing is related to your health in the following ways.
1. your Hearing is Affected by Diabetes
When tested with low to mid-frequency sound, people with diabetes were two times as likely to have mild to severe hearing loss according to a widely cited study that looked at over 5,000 adults. With high-frequency sounds, hearing impairment was not as severe but was also more likely. The researchers also discovered that subjects who were pre-diabetic, put simply, those with blood sugar levels that are elevated but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes were 30% more likely to have hearing loss than those with regular blood sugar levels. A more recent meta-study found that the link between hearing loss and diabetes was consistent, even when controlling for other variables.
So it’s pretty established that diabetes is related to an increased danger of hearing impairment. But the significant question is why is there a link. When it comes to this, science doesn’t really have an explanation. A whole range of health issues have been connected to diabetes, including damage to the extremities, kidneys, and eyes. One hypothesis is that the disease might impact the ears in a similar way, damaging blood vessels in the inner ear. But it might also be associated with overall health management. Individuals who failed to deal with or control their diabetes had worse outcomes according to one study carried out on military veterans. If you are concerned that you might be pre-diabetic or have undiagnosed diabetes, it’s important to talk to a doctor and have your blood sugar tested.
2. High Blood Pressure Can Harm Your Ears
Numerous studies have shown that hearing loss is associated with high blood pressure, and some have found that high blood pressure could actually accelerate age-related hearing loss. The results are consistent even when controlling for variables like noise exposure and whether you’re a smoker. The only variable that appears to matter is gender: If you’re a male, the link between high blood pressure and hearing loss is even stronger.
The ears and the circulatory system have a close relationship: Two of your body’s primary arteries run directly by your ears in addition to the presence of tiny blood vessels in your ears. Individuals with high blood pressure, in many cases, can hear their own blood pumping and this is the cause of their tinnitus. That’s why this type of tinnitus is called pulsatile tinnitus; you hear your pulse. The leading theory why high blood pressure would speed up hearing loss is that high blood pressure can lead to physical harm to your ears. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more force behind each beat. The smaller blood vessels inside of your ears can be injured by this. High blood pressure is treatable using both lifestyle changes and medical interventions. But if you think you’re developing hearing impairment, even if you think you’re not old enough for age-related hearing loss, you need to make an appointment to see us.
3. Dementia And Hearing Loss
You might have a higher chance of dementia if you have hearing impairment. Nearly 2000 people were studied over a six year period by Johns Hopkins University, and the research revealed that even with minor hearing loss (about 25 dB), the risk of dementia rises by 24%. Another study by the same researchers, which followed subjects over more than a decade, revealed that the worse a subject’s hearing was, the more likely that he or she would develop dementia. These studies also revealed that Alzheimer’s had an equivalent link to hearing loss. Moderate hearing loss puts you at 3 times higher risk, according to these findings, than somebody with normal hearing. Severe hearing loss puts you at nearly 4x the risk.
It’s crucial, then, to have your hearing tested. It’s about your state of health.