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 Affected by Diabetes
A widely-cited study that examined over 5,000 adults determined that individuals who had been diagnosed with diabetes were two times as likely to endure mild or worse hearing impairment when tested with low- or mid-frequency sounds. Hearing loss was also more likely with high-frequency tones, but not as severe. This same research revealed that individuals who had slightly elevated blood sugar levels (pre-diabetic) were 30% more likely to have hearing impairment. And even when controlling for other variables, a more recent meta-study discovered a consistent connection between diabetes and hearing loss.
So a greater danger of hearing loss is firmly linked to diabetes. But why would diabetes put you at an increased risk of suffering from hearing loss? When it comes to this, science doesn’t really have the answers. Diabetes is linked to a wide variety of health problems, and particularly, can result in physical damage to the eyes, kidneys, and limbs. It’s possible that diabetes has a similar harmful affect on the blood vessels of the inner ear. But management of overall health could also be a relevant possibility. Research that looked at military veterans underscored the link between hearing impairment and diabetes, but specifically, it found that those with uncontrolled diabetes, essentially, individuals who are not monitoring their blood sugar or otherwise treating the disease, suffered worse outcomes. If you are worried that you might be pre-diabetic or have undiagnosed diabetes, it’s important to consult with a doctor and have your blood sugar checked.
2. High Blood Pressure Can Harm Your Ears
Numerous 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 such as whether you smoke or your amount of noise exposure, the results are consistent. The only variable that appears to make a difference is gender: Males who have high blood pressure are at a higher danger of hearing loss.
Your ears aren’t a component of your circulatory system, but they’re darn close to it: Two of your body’s primary arteries go right past your ears in addition to the presence of tiny blood vessels inside your ears. People with high blood pressure, in many cases, can hear their own blood pumping and this is the source of their tinnitus. That’s why this kind of tinnitus is known as pulsatile tinnitus; you hear your pulse. But high blood pressure could also potentially result in physical damage to your ears, that’s the main hypothesis behind why it would speed up hearing loss. There’s more force behind every heartbeat if the heart is pumping harder. The smaller blood vessels in your ears can be injured by this. Both medical intervention and lifestyle changes can be used to help regulate high blood pressure. But you should schedule an appointment for a hearing test if you think you are experiencing any amount of hearing impairment.
3. Dementia And Hearing Impairment
You might have a greater risk of dementia if you have hearing impairment. Nearly 2000 individuals were analyzed over a six year period by Johns Hopkins University, and the research revealed that even with minor hearing loss (about 25 dB), the danger of dementia rises by 24%. Another study by the same researchers, which followed subjects over more than 10 years, found 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 a similar connection to hearing loss. Based on these results, moderate hearing impairment puts you at 3X the risk of someone without hearing loss. The danger increases to 4 times with severe hearing loss.
It’s essential, then, to get your hearing tested. It’s about your state of health.