Health Problems That Can Lead to Damaged Hearing
There have been some recent studies that have found some health problems and conditions, other than tinnitus, linked to hearing loss. Though hearing loss in found in 4/5 cases of Tinnitus, hearing loss can accompany these diseases and health problems. Some of these health problems are physical, while some are mental in nature. We will see why hearing loss is accompanied by these diseases.
Here they are.
1. Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic Kidney Disease is also known as Chronic Renal Disease. As a person gets older, the kidneys slowly lose their ability the function properly. A probable cause for hearing loss may be nerve damage. When kidney function deteriorates, the body is unable to get rid of harmful toxins in time. This causes nerve damage which affects many different nerves of the body, including those linking the ear and the brain.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) links disturbed kidney and liver balances to Tinnitus. This might also serve as an explanation as to why hearing loss occurs in people with Chronic Kidney Disease.
2. Cardiovascular Disease
The heart and the blood vessels are responsible to distribute “oxygen rich” blood around the body. When an illness afflicts the cardiovascular system, say, for instance, atherosclerosis (plaque builds up in the arteries and stops blood from reaching vital parts of the body in time) or high blood pressure, it may also lead to hearing damage.
There was a study done back in 2011 of over 2000 elderly Americans. Those with cardiovascular risk factors like obesity and high blood pressure also had poor sensitivity to hearing. This could lead to hearing loss in old age.
The cochlea depends upon the blood reaching it for oxygen and other nutrients. When the cardiovascular system is upset and imbalanced, it can result in the deprivation of these nutrients and oxygen, leading to impaired hearing.
3. Dementia and Cognitive Decline
A mental health disease that has been associated with hearing loss is dementia. It’s not actually a disease but a group of symptoms that really makes doing everyday tasks. Dementia occurs 3 to 4 times out of 5 with Alzheimer’s disease. When dementia happens, the affected person has difficulty remembering what happened in the short term, in particular. It’s usually characterized by mood swings, difficulty in finding the right words when speaking, confusion, apathy and a loss of sense of direction.
One study found that damage and loss of hearing is directly and independently associated with dementia. With loss of hearing a person can become more socially aloof and isolated from the people around them. With less hearing, even the brain receives lesser stimulation, which may ultimately lead to declining cognitive ability and thinking capacity.
It can be really difficult when you find out that you have difficulty hearing. The cause can be anywhere from bone growth in the ear to one or more of the diseases mentioned above.
If you feel that you have developed or are developing hearing loss, you still have time. Please do not hesitate to contact us at Eldorado Audiology, Santa Fe, NM and set an appointment.