4 Ways Hearing Loss Might Affect Your Overall Health

Confused woman suffering from hearing loss experiencing forgetfulness  in her kitchen

Let’s face it, there’s no escape from aging, and with it usually comes hearing loss. Sure, coloring your hair may make you look younger, but it doesn’t really change your age. But you might not know that a number of treatable health conditions have also been related to hearing loss. Here’s a look at some examples, #2 may come as a surprise.

1. Diabetes can affect your hearing

So it’s pretty well established that diabetes is connected to an increased risk of hearing loss. But why would you have a higher risk of experiencing hearing loss if you have diabetes? Well, science doesn’t have all the solutions here. Diabetes is connected to a wide variety of health problems, and in particular, can cause physical harm to the eyes, kidneys, and extremities. Blood vessels in the inner ear may, theoretically, be getting destroyed in a similar way. But it could also be linked to overall health management. A 2015 study discovered that individuals with neglected diabetes had worse outcomes than individuals who were treating and managing their diabetes. It’s important to get your blood sugar tested if you think you may have undiagnosed diabetes or are prediabetic. By the same token, if you have difficulty hearing, it’s a good plan to contact us.

2. Danger of hearing loss related falls increases

Why would having a hard time hearing make you fall? Our sense of balance is, to some extent, managed by our ears. But there are other reasons why falls are more likely if you have loss of hearing. Research was conducted on participants who have hearing loss who have recently had a fall. The study didn’t detail the cause of the falls but it did conjecture that missing important sounds, like a car honking, could be a huge part of the cause. At the same time, if you’re working hard to pay close attention to the sounds nearby, you may be distracted to your environment and that could also result in a higher risk of falling. Luckily, your danger of experiencing a fall is decreased by getting your hearing loss treated.

3. Control high blood pressure to safeguard your hearing

High blood pressure and hearing loss have been closely linked in some studies indicating that high blood pressure may speed up hearing loss due to the aging process. This sort of news may make you feel like your blood pressure is actually rising. Even when variables like noise exposure or smoking are taken into consideration, the connection has persistently been found. (You should never smoke!) Gender seems to be the only significant variable: The connection between hearing loss and high blood pressure is even stronger if you’re a male.

Your ears have a close relation to your circulatory system. Two of your body’s main arteries run right by your ears and it contains many tiny blood vessels. The noise that people hear when they experience tinnitus is frequently their own blood pumping due to high blood pressure. When your tinnitus symptoms are due to your own pulse, it’s known as pulsatile tinnitus. The leading theory why high blood pressure can bring about hearing loss is that it can actually cause physical harm to the vessels in the ears. If your heart is pumping harder, there’s more force behind each beat. The small arteries in your ears could possibly be damaged as a consequence. Through medical treatment and lifestyle improvement, blood pressure can be managed. But even if you don’t feel like you’re old enough for age-related hearing loss, if you’re having trouble hearing, you should contact us for a hearing exam.

4. Hearing loss and dementia

It’s scary stuff, but it’s significant to mention that while the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been well documented, scientists have been less productive at figuring out why the two are so powerfully linked. The most prevalent concept is that people with neglected hearing loss often retreat from social interaction and become debilitated by lack of stimulation. The stress of hearing loss straining the brain is another theory. In other words, because your brain is putting so much energy into understanding the sounds around you, you might not have much energy left for remembering things like where you left your keys. Preserving social ties and doing crosswords or “brain games” could help here, but so can managing hearing loss. If you’re able to hear clearly, social scenarios are easier to deal with, and you’ll be able to focus on the essential stuff instead of attempting to figure out what someone just said.

Schedule an appointment with us right away if you suspect you might be experiencing hearing loss.


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.