There may be a link between hearing loss and your overall health. The more we learn about hearing loss, the more we discover that it frequently co-exists with other health conditions. Some of the health conditions often associated with hearing loss are:
- Heart and cardiovascular disease – These diseases can affect blood flow to other organs of the body including the inner ear (the organ or hearing). Patients with diagnosed hearing loss should watch for any symptoms of cardiovascular problems, and patients with diagnosed cardiovascular problems should have their hearing evaluated.
- Diabetes – Adults with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss as non-diabetic adults.
- Cognitive function, dementia & alzhiemer’s disease – Studies have shown that older individuals with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia over time as compared to those who retain their hearing. Research also shows that individuals with untreated hearing loss tend to show a faster rate of cognitive decline than those without hearing loss or who have pursued treatment for their hearing loss.
- Depression & Anxiety – Research shows that hearing loss frequently co-exists with depression and/or anxiety. In fact, people with untreated hearing loss may be at increased risk for depression.
Unaddressed hearing loss can lead to isolation and other emotional conditions that can affect both quality of life and mental health. The risk of associated depression and mental health issues lessens significantly when hearing loss is treated.
- Chronic kidney disease – Some research has shown that people with chronic kidney disease have a higher prevalence of hearing loss: However, more research regarding this potential link is needed at this time.
Hearing loss can be a reflection of a person’s overall health and well being. Patients with diagnosed hearing loss should be aware of their overall health and possible symptoms of the above mentioned conditions. Patients diagnosed with any of the above conditions should have a hearing evaluation.
Information on this article was revised from published information by The Better Hearing Institute