Comorbidities of Hearing Loss

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People often take their hearing for granted. It’s all too easy to go through life without thinking about this essential sense, with many people being happy to ignore their ears until they start to notice problems with their hearing. Though, it always makes sense to look after your hearing, and the comorbidities that are associated with hearing loss only make this more important. To give you an idea of the conditions that can come with hearing loss, this article will be exploring a range of them to give you an idea of what they mean to you.

Loneliness & depression

Hearing loss can make it hard to communicate, enjoy group activities and consume content like music and television shows. This can leave people feeling very lonely, almost as if they have been trapped within themselves. Loneliness can quickly develop into depression, and this means that those with hearing loss are at a higher risk of developing depression than those that have good hearing. Being unable to communicate makes life extremely difficult.

Cardiovascular disease

Several studies have connected cardiovascular disease and hearing loss. Those with low-frequency hearing loss are often regarded as high-risk for cardiovascular disease, especially when their hearing loss has occurred very quickly. One study even suggests that as many as 85% of those diagnosed with strokes also have hearing loss. While this connection is yet to be fully researched, many experts believe that your hearing and cardiovascular system can be impacted by the same problems within your body.

Falls

Your inner ear is responsible for maintaining your sense of balance, with a special liquid acting almost like a spirit level. This is why spinning makes you dizzy; the liquid inside your ears maintains the inertia you generate as you move. This means that certain types of hearing loss can cause issues like vertigo and loss of balance, often resulting in falls. Your body relies on your sense of balance to help with reflex responses to falling, making it harder for you to react before you hit the ground.

Diabetes

A study published in July 2008 by Kathleen Bainbridge and colleagues has shown a significant connection between diabetes and hearing loss. Out of 5140 patients studied, those with diabetes were far more likely to experience hearing loss than those without it. Like the connection between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease, this is a relatively new discovery that will need some time to mature.

Kidney disease

Most people wouldn’t think about their hearing when they are living with kidney disease. Unfortunately, though, kidney disease releases toxins into your body that can damage certain nerves, and some of these nerves are found inside your ear. Alport syndrome is a good example of this, as this condition is characterized by kidney disease, hearing loss and eye abnormalities.

Cancer

Cancer is different from the other comorbidities on this list. Unlike the others, cancer doesn’t cause hearing loss itself, but the treatments that you receive for it can. Cisplatin is a commonly used chemotherapy drug that can help with testicular cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, mesothelioma, brain tumors and neuroblastoma.

Forty to eighty percent of those treated with this drug experience hearing loss, making it crucial for hospitals to monitoring your hearing as you go through chemo.

Cognitive impairment & dementia

Hearing loss has been strongly connected to cognitive issues like dementia. Those with cognitive impairment conditions are more likely to also have hearing loss when compared to subjects of the same age. This shows that while hearing is certainly related to your age, it can also be related to other conditions that come with age and it’s always worth monitoring your hearing to make sure that you’re not being given the signs of a condition like this before other symptoms start to show.

Hearing loss is a complicated condition that can have a huge range of different causes, while also having the possibility of causing its own additional issues. Falling, living with depression and all the other comorbidities on this list are things that most people will want to avoid throughout their lives. Thankfully, hearing specialists like Sandia Hearing Aids can help you to overcome the problem of hearing loss, no matter how it was caused. You can call us today at 505-715-4387 if you’d like to get started on improving your hearing.