Comorbidities Associated with Hearing Loss

As more research in the area of hearing is conducted, studies are showing hearing can also be related to other aspects of your health.  Keep reading to learn more about comorbidities associated with hearing loss. 

Cardiovascular Disease 

Cardiovascular Disease has been found to be associated with hearing loss.  Specifically, certain types of hearing loss were shown to be more strongly correlated to cardiovascular disease than others.  This included patients with low-frequency hearing loss or flat losses.  The ear is a highly vascular system dependent on blood supply and can be susceptible to changes based on cardiovascular diseases!  Diabetes has also been linked to a higher rate of hearing loss as it also impacts the vascular system and blood supply. 

Balance or Falls 

Research has shown older adults with untreated hearing loss are up to three times more likely to experience a fall.  Falls are a leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults and can come with serious consequences!  Even when eliminating other factors such as cardiovascular health, a correlation was still found between hearing and balance.   

Cognitive Impairment and Dementia 

Compared to normal hearing peers, patients with hearing loss are 1.2 to 5 times more likely to develop dementia, depending on the severity of hearing loss.  Struggling to hear takes away valuable resources from other areas of the brain, such as comprehension and memory.   

Social Isolation, Loneliness, & Depression 

Possibly one of the more overlooked health concerns associated with hearing loss is related to mental health.  Patients commonly report withdrawing from their hobbies or from spending time with their friends and loved ones due to their inability to keep up with the conversations going on around them.  Withdrawing from normal social interactions can lead to loneliness and depression, which hearing loss can contribute to. 

If you have hearing loss, wearing hearing aids may be beneficial for several of these associated health issues.  Have more questions?  Call 800-277-1182 to schedule an appointment with a Doctor of Audiology who can help address your specific concerns. 

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