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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. Here are just a few of the ways your hearing is linked to your health.

1. your Hearing is Impacted by Diabetes

When tested with low to mid-frequency tones, individuals with diabetes were two times as likely to have mild to severe hearing loss according to a widely cited study that looked at over 5,000 adults. With high-frequency sounds, hearing loss was not as severe but was also more likely. The researchers also found that subjects who were pre-diabetic, put simply, those with 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 people with regular blood sugar levels. And even when controlling for other variables, a more recent meta-study discovered a consistent link between diabetes and hearing loss.

So it’s pretty recognized that diabetes is linked to an increased risk of hearing loss. But the significant question is why is there a link. Science is at somewhat of a loss here. A whole range of health issues have been connected to diabetes, including damage to the extremities, eyes, and kidneys. It’s feasible that diabetes has a similar damaging affect on the blood vessels of the inner ear. But it might also be related to general health management. Research that looked at military veterans highlighted the connection between hearing impairment 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 consequences. It’s essential to have a doctor test your blood sugar if you believe you may have undiagnosed diabetes or are pre-diabetic.

2. High Blood Pressure Can Damage Your Ears

Multiple studies have demonstrated that hearing loss is associated with high blood pressure, and some have found that high blood pressure could actually speed up age-related hearing loss. Even when adjusting for variables such as whether you smoke or your amount of noise exposure, the results are solid. Gender appears to be the only variable that matters: Men who have high blood pressure are at a higher risk of hearing loss.

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 inside your ear, two of the body’s primary arteries go right near it. Individuals 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. The foremost theory why high blood pressure would speed up hearing loss is that high blood pressure can lead to physical damage to your ears. There’s more power behind every heartbeat if the heart is pumping harder. The smaller blood vessels inside of your ears can be damaged by this. High blood pressure is treatable using both lifestyle changes and medical interventions. But if you think you’re experiencing hearing loss, even if you think you’re too young for age-related hearing loss, you need to make an appointment to see us.

3. Hearing Loss And Dementia

You might have a higher risk of dementia if you have hearing loss. Research from Johns Hopkins University that observed nearly 2,000 people over the course of six years found that the danger of cognitive deterioration increased by 24% with just mild hearing loss (about 25 dB). And the worse the degree of hearing loss, the higher the risk of dementia, according to another study conducted over 10 years by the same researchers. This research also revealed that Alzheimer’s had an equivalent link to hearing loss. 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 examined. 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.