From depression to dementia, numerous other health conditions are linked to the health of your hearing. Your hearing is linked to your health in the following ways.
1. your Hearing is Impacted by Diabetes
A widely-cited study that examined more than 5,000 adults revealed that people 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 sounds, but less severe. The researchers also discovered 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% more likely to have hearing loss than people with regular blood sugar levels. And even when controlling for other variables, a more recent meta-study discovered a consistent link between hearing loss and diabetes.
So it’s fairly well recognized that diabetes is linked to an increased danger of hearing loss. 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 an explanation. Diabetes is connected to a wide variety of health concerns, and particularly, can cause physical damage to the eyes, kidneys, and limbs. It’s possible that diabetes has a similar harmful impact on the blood vessels of the inner ear. But management of overall health could also be a relevant possibility. Research that observed military veterans underscored the link between hearing loss and diabetes, but in particular, it revealed that those with unchecked diabetes, in other words, people who are not managing their blood sugar or otherwise taking care of the disease, suffered worse outcomes. It’s essential to have a doctor check your blood sugar if you think you may have undiagnosed diabetes or are pre-diabetic.
2. Your Ears Can be Damaged by High Blood Pressure
It is well established that high blood pressure plays a part in, if not accelerates, hearing loss. The results are consistent even when controlling for variables such as noise exposure and whether you’re a smoker. The only variable that appears to matter is gender: If you’re a male, the link between high blood pressure and hearing loss is even greater.
The ears and the circulatory system have a close relationship: Two of your body’s main arteries run directly past your ears besides the presence of tiny blood vessels in your ears. People 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. But high blood pressure could also potentially result in physical damage to your ears, that’s the main theory behind why it would accelerate hearing loss. There’s more force behind every heartbeat if the heart is pumping harder. The smaller blood vessels inside of your ears can be damaged 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 developing any amount of hearing loss.
3. Dementia And Hearing Impairment
You may have a higher chance of dementia if you have hearing impairment. Almost 2000 individuals were studied over a six year period by Johns Hopkins University, and the research revealed that even with mild hearing loss (about 25 dB), the risk of dementia increases by 24%. Another study by the same researchers, which followed subjects over more than 10 years, revealed that the worse a subject’s hearing was, the more likely that he or she would develop dementia. They also uncovered a similar link to Alzheimer’s Disease. Moderate hearing loss puts you at 3 times higher risk, according to these findings, than somebody with functional hearing. Extreme hearing loss puts you at nearly 4x the risk.
It’s crucial, then, to have your hearing tested. It’s about your state of health.
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