Hearing loss can be caused by more than just exposure to loud noises and the natural process of aging. There are a number of medical conditions that include hearing loss on their list of symptoms.
Understanding what conditions put your hearing at risk can help you protect yourself.
More than 30 million Americans are diabetic. This disease causes your blood sugar to get too high and can damage the nerves and blood vessels throughout your body.
Within your inner ear there are delicate hair cells responsible for passing sound information to the brain. When the cells receive insufficient blood supply, they can become damaged and die.
Those with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss compared to those without the disease.
Heart disease includes a wide range of conditions including high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease. These conditions make it harder for your blood to pump throughout your body. As with diabetes, this can harm the hair cells within the inner ear.
A 2017 study showed that those with heart conditions or a history of cardiovascular disease were at a higher risk of developing hearing loss. In addition, hearing loss may be a warning sign for a yet to be diagnosed heart issue.
Caused by a viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection, meningitis is the inflammation of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. While life threatening if not treated immediately, most patients survive when caught early.
One of the symptoms of this disease is hearing loss, especially in young children. This is because the inflammation can affect the nerve that connects your ears to your brain. About 90 percent of those with hearing loss caused by meningitis will regain their ability to hear. For the remaining 10 percent, their hearing loss is permanent.
This autoimmune disease causes inflammation in your joints. The cartilage, bones and tissue surrounding these joints can become damaged over time.
Experts estimate that nearly 75 percent of those with rheumatoid arthritis will develop hearing loss. While the connection is unclear, some suspect the inflammation affects the tiny bones and cartilage in the ear.
If you have any of the above conditions, it is important to follow your doctor-recommended treatment plans and seek help at the first sign of hearing loss. Contact your North Alabama ENT audiologist today to learn more or get started.