Let’s face it, there’s no escape from aging, and with it usually comes hearing loss. You can do some things to look younger but you’re still aging. But did you realize that hearing loss has also been connected to health problems related to aging that are treatable, and in some instances, avoidable? Here’s a look at a few examples, #2 may surprise you.
1. Your hearing could be affected by diabetes
So it’s pretty well recognized that diabetes is associated with an increased danger of hearing loss. But why would you have an increased risk of developing hearing loss if you have diabetes? Science is at a bit of a loss here. Diabetes is known to harm the kidneys, eyes, and extremities. One theory is that the condition may affect the ears in a similar way, damaging blood vessels in the inner ear. But it could also be related to general health management. A 2015 study that looked at U.S. military veterans underscored the connection between hearing loss and diabetes, but specifically, it found that those with uncontrolled diabetes, in other words, people who aren’t controlling their blood sugar or alternatively treating the disease, suffered worse outcomes. If you are worried that you may be prediabetic or have overlooked diabetes, it’s essential to talk with a doctor and have your blood sugar checked. By the same token, if you have difficulty hearing, it’s a good plan to reach out to us.
2. Danger of hearing loss related falls increases
Why would your chance of falling increase if you have hearing loss? Though our ears play an important part in helping us balance, there are other reasons why hearing loss could get you down (in this instance, very literally). People with hearing loss who have had a fall were the participants of a recent study. Although this study didn’t investigate what had caused the subjects’ falls, the authors suspected that having difficulty hearing what’s around you (and missing important sounds such as a car honking) could be one problem. But it could also go the other way, if difficulty hearing means you’re paying more attention to sounds than to your surroundings, it could be easy to stumble and fall. Fortunately, your risk of having a fall is decreased by having your hearing loss treated.
3. Protect your hearing by treating high blood pressure
High blood pressure and hearing loss have been closely linked in some studies indicating that high blood pressure may accelerate hearing loss due to aging. This kind of news may make you feel like your blood pressure is actually rising. Even when variables such as noise exposure or smoking are taken into consideration, the link has persistently been seen. (You should never smoke!) Gender seems to be the only significant variable: If you’re a male, the link between high blood pressure and hearing loss is even stronger.
Your ears have a close relation to your circulatory system. In addition to the many tiny blood vessels inside your ear, two of the body’s main arteries run 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. But high blood pressure could also possibly result in physical harm to your ears, that’s the main theory behind why it would accelerate hearing loss. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more pressure behind each beat. The small arteries in your ears could potentially be harmed as a result. Through medical intervention and lifestyle change, it is possible to manage high blood pressure. But if you think you’re dealing with hearing loss, even if you believe you’re not old enough for the age-related stuff, it’s a good move to talk to us.
4. Hearing loss and dementia
It’s scary stuff, but it’s significant to mention that while the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been well recognized, scientists have been less productive at sussing out why the two are so powerfully connected. The most prevalent concept is that people with neglected hearing loss often withdraw from social interaction and become debilitated by lack of stimulus. The stress of hearing loss overloading the brain is another theory. In other words, because your brain is putting so much energy into comprehending the sounds around you, you may not have much juice left for remembering things like where you left your keys. Playing “brain games” and keeping your social life active can be very helpful but the number one thing you can do is manage your hearing loss. If you’re able to hear well, social scenarios are easier to deal with, and you’ll be able to focus on the essential stuff instead of attempting to figure out what someone just said.
If you’re concerned that you might be suffering from hearing loss, schedule an appointment with us right away.