Medical Management and Baselines
Many health conditions can lead to changes within your auditory system
The only way to know if you have a hearing change is to go to your audiologist for a hearing evaluation. Baseline exams are recommended for anyone with a chronic health condition or risk factor (see below) and those age 50+.
Some people think hearing is only due to aging. Aging will cause lowered immunity to chronic diseases, but even younger people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease will begin to lose hearing. Chronic disease disrupts hearing and causing permanent hearing loss. Take action today and urge your family and friends with any risk factors to see an audiologist for a baseline hearing test.
The Audiology Project August 21 at 3:41 PM · Hearing problems occur in 30% of persons with diabetes. The same disruption in the micro vascular system seen in diabetic retinopathy and peripheral neuropathy is occurring in the ear and balance systems. If you have diabetes ask for a referral to an audiologist for a baseline hearing test.
Cardio vascular disease can cause hearing loss. a. Hearing loss is 54% more common in those with heart disease. Strokes, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms, high blood pressure can affect your hearing. The only way to know if you have a hearing change with a heart or vascular problems is to go to your audiologist once a year for a hearing evaluation.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Associated with a dyslipidemia comprising high triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol and altered lipoprotein composition associated with elevated triglycerides may reduce auditory function. As hearing declines with age, the average change in hearing thresholds per decade is significantly greater in those with high cholesterol as compared to normal hearing subjects.
High Blood Pressure
As hearing declines with age, the average change in hearing thresholds per decade is significantly greater in those with high blood pressure as compared to normal hearing subjects.
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism have been linked to hearing loss. Research into why is ongoing, but the following thyroid conditions are known to affect hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance: Pendred Syndrome, a genetic disorder which causes early hearing loss in children, also often leads to the development of goiter. Grave’s Disease, one of the known causes of hyperthyroidism Hashimoto’s Disease, known as a common cause of hypothyroidism.
Studies have shown that patients who undergo radiation therapy for cancer in the head or neck, such as thyroid cancer, appear more likely to experience hearing loss. Ototoxicity occurs when a person ingests chemicals or certain medications that can adversely affect the way the inner ear functions. Specifically, some drugs can damage the cochlea and the vestibulo-cochlear nerve, impairing hearing and affecting balance. Certain chemotherapy drugs are listed as ototoxic. Your oncologist may recommend medical monitoring of your hearing loss throughout your treatment.
The long-term goal of hearing screening is providing early assessment and intervention to forestall the onset of preventable consequences. This will allow elderly individuals with hearing loss to obtain rehabilitation services as early as possible to prevent disability/handicap and improve quality of life, two important goals of professionals providing services to the growing elderly population.