Your General Health Could be Impacted by Hearing Loss – Here Are 4 Ways

Confused woman suffering from hearing loss experiencing forgetfulness  in her kitchen

Aging is one of the most prevalent indicators of hearing loss, and let’s face it, try as we may, we can’t escape aging. Sure, dyeing your hair might make you look younger, but it doesn’t really change your age. But did you know that hearing loss has also been connected to health problems related to aging that are treatable, and in some instances, preventable? Here’s a look at a few examples, #2 may come as a surprise.

1. Diabetes could impact your hearing

So it’s fairly well established that diabetes is connected to an increased risk of hearing loss. But why would diabetes give you a higher risk of developing hearing loss? Well, science doesn’t have all the solutions here. Diabetes is known to damage the kidneys, eyes, and extremities. Blood vessels in the inner ear might, theoretically, be getting destroyed in a similar way. But overall health management may also be a factor. A 2015 study that looked at U.S. military veterans highlighted the link between hearing loss and diabetes, but in particular, it found that those with uncontrolled diabetes, in other words, individuals who aren’t controlling their blood sugar or otherwise managing the disease, suffered worse consequences. It’s significant to get your blood sugar tested if you think you might have overlooked diabetes or are prediabetic. And, it’s a good idea to contact us if you think your hearing may be compromised.

2. Danger of hearing loss related falls goes up

Why would having difficulty hearing cause a fall? Though our ears play an important role in helping us balance, there are other reasons why hearing loss may get you down (in this case, quite literally). Research was carried out on individuals with hearing loss who have recently fallen. Although this study didn’t delve into what had caused the subjects’ falls, the authors speculated that having difficulty hearing what’s around you (and missing crucial sounds like a car honking) could be one issue. At the same time, if you’re struggling to concentrate on the sounds nearby, you may be distracted to your environment and that may also lead to a higher chance of falling. Fortunately, your risk of having a fall is decreased by getting your hearing loss treated.

3. Safeguard your hearing by controlling high blood pressure

High blood pressure and hearing loss have been closely linked in some studies indicating that high blood pressure may speed up hearing loss related to the aging process. Obviously, this is not the sort of comforting news that makes your blood pressure drop. But it’s a connection that’s been found rather consistently, even when controlling for variables like noise exposure and whether you’re a smoker. (Please don’t smoke.) The only variable that is important appears to be gender: 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. Two of your body’s primary arteries run right near your ears and it consists of many tiny blood vessels. 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 known as pulsatile tinnitus. But high blood pressure could also possibly result in physical damage to your ears, that’s the main theory as to why it would hasten hearing loss. Every beat of your heart will have more force if it’s pumping blood harder. That could possibly harm the smaller blood arteries inside of your ears. High blood pressure is manageable through both lifestyle changes and medical treatments. But if you think you’re dealing with hearing loss, even if you believe you’re too young for the age-related stuff, it’s a good move to talk to us.

4. Cognitive decline and hearing loss

It’s scary stuff, but it’s important to note that while the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been well recognized, scientists have been less successful at figuring out why the two are so strongly linked. A common theory is that having difficulty hearing can cause people to stay away from social situations and that social detachment, and lack of cognitive stimulation, can be incapacitating. Another concept is that hearing loss taxes your brain. 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 put your keys. Preserving social ties and doing crosswords or “brain games” could help here, but so can treating hearing loss. Social engagements will be easier when you can hear clearly and instead of struggling to hear what people are saying, you can focus on the important stuff.

If you’re worried that you might be dealing with hearing loss, schedule an appointment with us today.


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.