Let’s face it, there’s no getting away from aging, and with it usually comes hearing loss. Sure, coloring your hair might make you look younger, but it doesn’t actually change your age. But you may not know that several treatable health conditions have also been associated with hearing loss. Here’s a look at a few examples, #2 might surprise you.
1. Your hearing could be impacted by diabetes
So it’s fairly well established that diabetes is connected to a higher risk of hearing loss. But why would you have a higher danger of experiencing hearing loss if you have diabetes? Well, science doesn’t have all the answers here. Diabetes has been known to harm the kidneys, eyes, and extremities. One theory is that the condition may impact the ears in a similar way, destroying blood vessels in the inner ear. But it could also be connected to overall health management. A 2015 study discovered that individuals with overlooked diabetes had worse results than people who were treating and managing their diabetes. It’s significant to get your blood sugar tested if you think you might have overlooked diabetes or are prediabetic. By the same token, if you have trouble hearing, it’s a good plan to reach out to us.
2. Increased danger of falling associated with hearing loss
Why would having a hard time hearing make you fall? Although our ears play an important role in helping us balance, there are other reasons why hearing loss might get you down (in this instance, quite literally). Research was carried out on participants who have hearing loss who have recently fallen. Although this study didn’t delve into what had caused the subjects’ falls, the authors speculated that having trouble hearing what’s around you (and missing crucial sounds such as a car honking) could be one problem. At the same time, if you’re working hard to pay close attention to the sounds nearby, you may be distracted to your environment and that might also lead to a higher risk of having a fall. Luckily, your risk of experiencing a fall is decreased by getting your hearing loss treated.
3. Protect your hearing by managing high blood pressure
High blood pressure and hearing loss have been closely linked in some studies indicating that high blood pressure might speed up hearing loss related to aging. Clearly, this is not the kind of reassuring news that makes your blood pressure go down. Even when variables such as noise exposure or smoking are taken into consideration, the connection has persistently been found. (You should never smoke!) Gender appears to be the only important variable: The link between hearing loss and high blood pressure is even stronger if you’re a man.
Your ears aren’t part 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 run 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. When your tinnitus symptoms are the result of your own pulse, it’s called pulsatile tinnitus. But high blood pressure could also potentially cause physical harm to your ears, that’s the main theory behind why it would hasten hearing loss. Every beat of your heart will have more pressure if it’s pumping blood harder. The little arteries in your ears could possibly be harmed as a result. Through medical intervention and lifestyle improvement, it is possible to manage high blood pressure. But if you suspect you’re dealing with hearing loss, even if you feel like you’re not old enough for the age-related stuff, it’s a good move to talk to us.
4. Hearing loss and cognitive decline
It’s scary stuff, but it’s significant to note that while the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been well documented, scientists have been less successful at figuring out why the two are so strongly linked. A common theory is that having problems 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. Maintaining social ties and doing crosswords or “brain games” could help here, but so can managing hearing loss. If you’re able to hear well, social situations are easier to handle, and you’ll be able to focus on the essential stuff instead of attempting to figure out what someone just said.
Schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible if you suspect you may be experiencing hearing loss.