From depression to dementia, many other health conditions are connected to your hearing health. Your hearing is related to your health in the following ways.
1. your Hearing is Impacted 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, in other words, those who have 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 normal blood sugar levels. And even when controlling for other variables, a more recent meta-study revealed a consistent connection between hearing loss and diabetes.
So it’s pretty established that diabetes is related to an increased danger of hearing loss. But why would diabetes put you at an increased risk of experiencing hearing loss? Science is at a bit of a loss here. A whole variety of health problems have been linked to diabetes, including damage to the limbs, eyes, and kidneys. One theory is that the condition might impact the ears in a similar way, damaging blood vessels in the inner ear. But it may also be related to overall health management. People who failed to deal with or manage their diabetes had worse outcomes according to one study performed on military veterans. If you are concerned that you might be pre-diabetic or have undiagnosed diabetes, it’s essential to speak to a doctor and get your blood sugar checked.
2. Your Ears Can be Harmed by High Blood Pressure
It is well known that high blood pressure has a connection to, if not accelerates, hearing loss. The results are consistent even when taking into consideration variables such as noise exposure and whether you smoke. The only variable that seems to make a difference is gender: Men with high blood pressure are at a greater risk of hearing loss.
The circulatory system and the ears have a direct relationship: Two of your body’s primary arteries go right past your ears in addition to the presence of tiny blood vessels inside your ears. Individuals 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 type of tinnitus, it’s called pulsatile tinnitus. The leading theory why high blood pressure would accelerate hearing loss is that high blood pressure can result in physical harm to your ears. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more force behind every beat. The smaller blood vessels in your ears can be damaged by this. Both medical intervention and lifestyle changes can be used to help manage high blood pressure. But you should make an appointment for a hearing exam if you think you are developing any amount of hearing loss.
3. Hearing Loss And Dementia
Hearing loss might put you at a higher chance of dementia. Almost 2000 people were examined over a six year period by Johns Hopkins University, and the study revealed that even with minor hearing loss (about 25 dB), the risk of dementia increases by 24%. Another study by the same researchers, which followed subjects over more than a decade, discovered that the worse a subject’s hearing was, the more likely that he or she would develop dementia. This research also revealed that Alzheimer’s had an equivalent connection to hearing loss. Moderate hearing loss puts you at 3 times higher risk, according to these findings, than someone with normal hearing. The danger rises to 4 times with severe hearing loss.
It’s crucial, then, to have your hearing tested. It’s about your state of health.