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 often comes hearing loss. Sure, coloring your hair might 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 associated with hearing loss. Let’s take a look at a few examples that might be surprising.

1. Diabetes can affect your hearing

The fact that hearing loss and diabetes have a connection is pretty well understood. But why would diabetes put you at an increased risk of suffering from hearing loss? Well, science doesn’t provide all the solutions here. Diabetes has been known to damage the kidneys, eyes, 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 revealed that people with neglected diabetes had worse results than individuals who were treating and managing their diabetes. It’s significant to get your blood sugar checked if you believe you might have undiagnosed diabetes or are prediabetic. By the same token, if you have trouble hearing, it’s a good plan to reach out to us.

2. Danger of hearing loss associated falls goes up

Why would having a hard time hearing cause a fall? Our sense of balance is, to some extent, managed by our ears. But there are other reasons why falling is more likely if you have loss of hearing. People with hearing loss who have had a fall were the participants of a recent study. Although this study didn’t explore the cause of the subjects’ falls, the authors suspected that having trouble hearing what’s around you (and missing important sounds such as a car honking) could be one issue. At the same time, if you’re struggling to pay close attention to the sounds around you, you may be distracted to your environment and that may also result in a higher chance of falling. Luckily, your danger of experiencing a fall is decreased by getting your hearing loss treated.

3. Protect your hearing by managing high blood pressure

High blood pressure and hearing loss have been closely linked in some studies indicating that high blood pressure may accelerate hearing loss due to the aging process. Obviously, this isn’t the kind of reassuring news that makes your blood pressure go down. Even when variables such as noise exposure or smoking are taken into account, the link has consistently been found. (Please don’t smoke.) The only variable that is important seems to be gender: 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. In addition to the many tiny blood vessels inside of your ear, two of the body’s primary arteries run right by it. This is one reason why individuals who have high blood pressure often experience tinnitus, the pulsing they’re hearing is actually their own blood pumping. That’s why this kind of tinnitus is called pulsatile tinnitus; you hear your pulse. The primary theory why high blood pressure can bring about hearing loss is that it can actually do physical damage to the vessels in the ears. Every beat of your heart will have more pressure if it’s pumping blood harder. The little arteries in your ears could possibly be damaged as a consequence. High blood pressure can be managed through both lifestyle modifications and medical treatments. But if you suspect you’re experiencing hearing loss, even if you feel like you’re too young for the age-related stuff, it’s a good idea to talk to us.

4. Cognitive decline and hearing loss

It’s scary stuff, but it’s significant to mention that while the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been well documented, scientists have been less successful at sussing out why the two are so powerfully connected. The most widespread theory is that people with neglected hearing loss tend to retreat from social interaction and become debilitated by lack of stimulus. The stress of hearing loss straining the brain is another idea. In other words, because your brain is putting so much energy into understanding the sounds around you, you may not have much juice 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 well, social scenarios are easier to handle, and you’ll be able to focus on the important stuff instead of trying to figure out what somebody just said.

Schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible 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.