Around 360 million people worldwide suffer from a disabling hearing loss, which has a number of causative reasons. (WHO, 2015). Along with a bunch of other reasons, chronic kidney disease is also considered to impact the hearing abilities of an individual.
Chronic Kidney Disease And Hearing Loss- Study Details
One of the recent studies has surveyed the probable impact on hearing of chronic kidney disease patients. The study revealed that there was a major impact on the hearing abilities of individuals who suffered from a chronic kidney condition.
Adults, who suffer from a chronic kidney disease, were found to suffer from hearing loss disabilities on a larger scale, compared to other individuals who did not suffer from the same chronic condition. (National KIdney Foundation). This piece of news was shared in a report that was shared in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, which is the official medical journal published by the American Kidney Foundation.
The study was a team of Australian experts, who surveyed and analyzed the details of around 2,900 individuals, who were aged 50 and above. (HearAgain.org, 2011). This sample size also included 513 individuals who suffered from a moderately chronic kidney disease condition. This condition’s symptoms involve the kidney function with a glomerular filtration rate measure that is found to be below 60.
In the study, around 54% of the documented chronic kidney disease patients were found to have reported some level or degree of hearing loss at some time. This was a stark contrast to the 28% reported hearing loss cases observed in individuals who did not suffer from the chronic disease.
The study results revealed that around 30% of the total chronic kidney disease patients under study, displayed signs of suffering from severe hearing loss. This is a major contrast to a small statistical percentage of 10% which was observed in the non chronic kidney disease patients. (National KIdney Foundation).
The author of the study, Professor David Harris, who is the Associate Dean of Sydney Medical School, in the University of Sydney, shared his professional views on the results of the study and said, “Hearing loss is linked to the syndromal kidney disease, while this study in particular suggests and gives evidence for a strong tie to chronic kidney disease.”
Dr. Kerry Willis, who is the Senior Vice President at the National Kidney Foundation, for the Scientific Activities department, said that the study offers opportunities for modified care of people suffering chronic kidney disease symptoms. He shared the view that by opting for early clinical assessments and fitting the patients for hearing aids, the quality of life can be improved for chronic kidney disease patients. In his view, it would surely result in improving the management of different underlying conditions, which would serve to preserve the hearing ability and function of such patients.
Kidney Disease Affecting Hearing Loss- The Reason
The link between the hearing loss and chronic kidney disease is explained by scientists with the similar functional and structural tissues present in the kidney and in the inner ear. Furthermore, it has been estimated that the toxins which tend to accumulate as a result of kidney failure, can have a damaging impact on nerves, which also include those in the inner ear.
One other reason for the high prevalence of hearing loss in kidney disease patients is that both conditions share the same risk factors, which include high blood pressure, old age and diabetes.
By recognizing the effect on hearing functions of chronic kidney disease patients, effective measures can be adopted for timely management and handling of the issue.
This article is written by: Dr. Lori Trentacoste, head audiologist at Island Better Hearing (www.islandbetterhearing.com) All images and content in this article are the sole property of the LIAHP and Dr. Trentacoste (c) 2015, All rights reserved whereby use of this article and/or other written projects in this blogsite must be done with express permission from Dr. Lori Trentacoste.
HearAgain.org. (2011, April). Hearing Loss Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease. Retrieved April 2015, from HearAgain.org:
National KIdney Foundation. (n.d.). Hearing Loss Linked to Moderate Chronic Kidney Disease.Retrieved April 2015, from National Kidney Foundation: https://www.kidney.org/news/ekidney/november10/HearingLoss_November10
WHO. (2015, March). Deafness and Hearing Loss. Retrieved April 2015, from World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs300/en/