Your General Health Can be Affected by Hearing Loss – Here Are 4 Ways

Confused woman suffering from hearing loss experiencing forgetfulness  in her kitchen

Aging is one of the most typical indicators of hearing loss, and let’s face it, try as we may, we can’t escape aging. Sure, dyeing your hair might make you look younger, but it doesn’t actually change your age. But did you realize that hearing loss has also been linked to health issues related to aging that are treatable, and in some instances, preventable? Let’s take a look at a few examples that may be surprising.

1. Diabetes can impact your hearing

The fact that hearing loss and diabetes have a connection is fairly well understood. But why would you have an increased danger of experiencing hearing loss if you have diabetes? Science is at a bit of a loss here. Diabetes is known to harm the kidneys, eyes, and extremities. One theory is that the condition may impact the ears in a similar way, destroying blood vessels in the inner ear. But it could also be connected to general health management. A 2015 study that looked at U.S. military veterans underscored the link between hearing loss and diabetes, but specifically, it found that those with uncontrolled diabetes, in other words, people who aren’t controlling their blood sugar or otherwise managing the disease, suffered worse consequences. If you are concerned that you might be prediabetic or have overlooked diabetes, it’s essential to speak to a physician and get your blood sugar screened. By the same token, if you have difficulty hearing, it’s a good idea to reach out to us.

2. Danger of hearing loss related falls increases

Why would having difficulty hearing cause a fall? Although our ears play an important role in helping us balance, there are other reasons why hearing loss might get you down (in this instance, quite literally). People with hearing loss who have taken a fall were the subjects of a recent study. Although this study didn’t explore the cause of the subjects’ falls, the authors speculated that having difficulty 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 working hard to pay close attention to the sounds around you, you could be distracted to your environment and that could also result in a higher danger of having a fall. Fortunately, your danger of having a fall is reduced by getting your hearing loss treated.

3. Safeguard 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 might speed up hearing loss due to aging. Obviously, this is not the sort of comforting news that makes your blood pressure go down. But it’s a connection that’s been discovered rather consistently, even when controlling for variables like noise exposure and whether you’re a smoker. (Please don’t smoke.) The only variable that is important appears to be sex: If you’re a male, the link between high blood pressure and hearing loss is even stronger.

Your ears have a close relation to your circulatory system. In addition to the many tiny blood vessels inside your ear, two of the body’s main arteries run right by it. This is one reason why people who have high blood pressure often suffer from tinnitus, the pulsing they’re hearing is actually their own blood pumping. When your tinnitus symptoms are caused by your own pulse, it’s known as pulsatile tinnitus. The principal theory why high blood pressure can cause hearing loss is that it can actually cause physical damage to the vessels in the ears. Every beat of your heart will have more force if it’s pumping blood harder. The small arteries in your ears could possibly be harmed as a consequence. Through medical treatment and lifestyle change, it is possible to manage high blood pressure. But even if you don’t think you’re old enough for age-related hearing loss, if you’re having difficulty hearing, you should give us a call for a hearing exam.

4. Cognitive decline and hearing loss

It’s scary stuff, but it’s significant to note that while the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been well documented, scientists have been less successful at sussing out why the two are so strongly connected. A common theory is that having trouble hearing can cause people to stay away from social situations and that social withdrawal, and lack of cognitive stimulation, can be debilitating. Another theory is that hearing loss taxes your brain. In other words, because your brain is putting so much energy into comprehending the sounds around you, you may not have much juice left for remembering things like where you put your keys. Maintaining social ties and doing crosswords or “brain games” could be helpful, but so can treating 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 attempting to figure out what somebody just said.

Schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible if you think 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.