Hearing loss exists on a spectrum, ranging in severity from a mild inconvenience to a serious condition. Despite this, sickness-related hearing loss and comorbidities associated with hearing loss can make any level of hearing loss difficult to manage. Those with hearing loss should understand the signs and symptoms of common hearing loss comorbidities so they can discuss them with their doctors and develop proactive treatment plans.
Tinnitus is a common condition characterized by persistent ringing in the ears, and has been linked to thyroid problems, excessive noise exposure, and certain medications. Treatments for tinnitus include sound therapy, medication, and electronic noise suppression. Tinnitus is one of the most common symptoms of hearing loss, so patients that experience tinnitus should undergo a hearing test as soon as symptoms emerge.
Your sense of balance is managed by the vestibular system, which is located in the inner ear. Hearing loss can damage the vestibular system and cause vestibular disorder, a condition characterized by dizziness, vertigo, and a loss of balance. Balance issues can lead to dangerous falls, especially in seniors, so it’s important to seek treatment from a hearing professional as soon as possible.
People living with diabetes are twice as likely to have some form of hearing loss, as high blood sugar levels can damage critical nerves in the inner ear. This may affect one ear or both and can occur suddenly or gradually. Managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes and lowering blood sugar can help prevent hearing problems down the road.
Dementia and other cognitive issues are among the most common comorbidities of hearing loss, and recent studies have explored a possible connection between untreated hearing loss and the prevalence of dementia.
While neuroscientists aren’t sure exactly how hearing loss and dementia are related, the most popular theory is that hearing loss causes individuals to be less socially engaged, depriving them of the mental stimulation their brain needs to defend against dementia and other cognitive issues. Studies involving hearing loss and dementia have concluded that regular use of hearing aids cuts the likelihood of developing dementia by almost half.
If left untreated, hearing loss can deprive people of the things they enjoy, such as listening to music, watching movies, or chatting with friends. Being unable to hear can lead to feelings of isolation, difficulty enjoying social events, and even depression. Hearing aids and lifestyle adjustments help those living with hearing loss reengage with their passions and continue enjoying what they love.
Another comorbidity related to hearing loss is vascular compromise, a set of conditions that throw the cardiovascular system off-kilter and affect blood flow to the ears, potentially causing low-frequency hearing loss. Those who suffer from cardiovascular illnesses should get regular checkups to protect their ears and cardiovascular health.
Everybody knows smoking negatively impacts many areas of your health, but it can also lead to hearing loss. Studies show that smokers are 15.1% more likely to develop hearing loss than non-smokers. The best way to protect your hearing is by working with your physician to create a plan to quit smoking.
Recent studies have proposed a possible connection between hypertension, also called high blood pressure, and hearing loss. Notably, the study found that patients who experience high blood pressure had greater difficulty hearing soft or quiet sounds. Staying active and eating a healthy diet can help keep blood pressure under control and prevent future hearing loss.
Address Hearing Loss with Amdahl Hearing
Hearing loss and associated comorbidities can be challenging, especially for seniors, but nearly all of them can be effectively treated with the right combination of expertise and technology. Hearing aids and custom hearing protection from Amdahl Hearing can mitigate the negative effects of hearing loss while boosting your quality of life.
Contact us today to learn more!