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Woman rubbing her leg after a fall because she couldn’t hear.

Your hearing health is connected to many other health concerns, from depression to dementia. Your hearing is linked to your health in the following ways.

1. your Hearing is Impacted by Diabetes

When tested with low to mid-frequency sound, individuals with diabetes were twice as likely to have mild to severe hearing loss according to a widely cited study that looked at over 5,000 adults. Impairment was also more likely with high-frequency sounds, but less severe. The researchers also found that subjects who were pre-diabetic, put simply, those who have blood sugar levels that are elevated but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes were 30 percent more likely to have hearing loss than those with regular blood sugar levels. And even when controlling for other variables, a more recent meta-study revealed a consistent link between hearing loss and diabetes.

So it’s fairly well recognized that diabetes is related to an increased danger of hearing loss. But why would diabetes put you at a higher danger of experiencing hearing impairment? Science is at somewhat of a loss here. A whole range of health problems have been connected to diabetes, including damage to the extremities, eyes, and kidneys. One theory is that the disease might impact the ears in a similar way, damaging blood vessels in the inner ear. But management of overall health may also be a relevant possibility. People who failed to deal with or control their diabetes had worse outcomes according to one study carried out on military veterans. It’s essential to have a doctor test your blood sugar if you believe you may have undiagnosed diabetes or are pre-diabetic.

2. Your Ears Can be Harmed by High Blood Pressure

Numerous studies have revealed that hearing loss is connected to high blood pressure, and some have found that high blood pressure may actually accelerate age-related hearing loss. Even when taking into consideration variables such as whether you smoke or your amount of noise exposure, the results are solid. The only variable that seems to matter is gender: If you’re a male, the connection between high blood pressure and hearing loss is even greater.

Your ears aren’t a component of your circulatory system, but they’re in close relation to it: In addition to the numerous tiny blood vessels in your ear, two of the body’s primary arteries go right near it. This is one reason why those who have high blood pressure often experience tinnitus, the pulsing they’re hearing is really their own blood pumping. Because you can hear your own pulse with this kind of tinnitus, it’s known as pulsatile tinnitus. The foremost theory why high blood pressure would accelerate hearing loss is that high blood pressure can result in physical harm to your ears. There’s more force behind each heartbeat if the heart is pumping harder. The smaller blood vessels in your ears can be damaged by this. Both medical treatment and lifestyle changes can be used to help manage high blood pressure. But you should make an appointment for a hearing examination if you think you are experiencing any amount of hearing loss.

3. Hearing Impairment And Dementia

Hearing loss may put you at a greater chance of dementia. Studies from Johns Hopkins University that followed almost 2,000 patients over six years found that the danger of cognitive impairment increased by 24% with just mild hearing impairment (about 25 dB). Another study by the same researchers, which followed subjects over more than a decade, found that the worse a subject’s hearing was, the more likely that he or she would develop dementia. These studies also revealed that Alzheimer’s had an equivalent connection to hearing loss. Moderate hearing loss puts you at 3 times higher risk, based on these findings, than somebody with normal hearing. Extreme hearing loss puts you at almost 4x the risk.

The bottom line is, if you’re suffering from hearing loss, you should get it evaluated and treated. It’s about your state of health.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.