Health Conditions & Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is most commonly associated with ageing; however there are different medical conditions that can cause hearing loss too. It is important to be aware of them because even though these conditions are not directly related to your ears or hearing, they definitely can have an affect on them. The best way to stay in tip-top shape is to see your doctor regularly and, if you have any of these conditions, start seeing a hearing care professional to assess your hearing health too. Here are 15 different health conditions and how they can cause hearing loss:
- Cardiovascular Disease: Cardiovascular diseases are conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels; for example: high blood pressure and heart disease. Cardiovascular diseases cause a decrease in circulation and blood flow. The cochlea in your inner ear is very sensitive to blood flow. Cardiovascular abnormalities that reduce blood flow limit the oxygen supply to the inner ear which can result in hearing loss.
- Diabetes: When the body cannot produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar, diabetes develops. The excess blood sugar damages nerves and blood vessels. This includes the delicate and sensitive nerves and blood vessels in the inner ear. Over time, your hearing can start to decline as a result.
- Chronic Kidney Disease: Kidney disease causes a gradual loss of kidney function. An Australian study details how hearing loss has been found in patients who have chronic kidney disease.
- Mumps: Mumps is a common childhood viral infection. There is a vaccination for it, but for those who don’t get the vaccine, the virus can cause damage the cochlea in the inner ear which results in hearing loss in addition to other lasting complications.
- German Measles: Another common childhood virus that can also affect adults. The greatest danger of hearing loss usually occurs if mothers contract the virus while pregnant, it can cause birth abnormalities including nerve damage.
- Lyme Disease: Lyme Disease is transmitted through a bite from a deer tick and can be extremely debilitating. More and more is being learned about Lyme Disease, its symptoms, side effects, and treatments. Hearing loss can be one of the problems associated with the disease.
- Syphilis: Both the congenital and acquired versions of this STD may cause sensorineural hearing loss.
- Acoustic Neuroma: This is a non-cancerous growth or tumour that grows on the auditory nerve in the ear. It can cause hearing loss, even if it is surgically removed.
- Cholesteatoma: A skin cyst that grows in the middle ear. It often develops after repeated ear infections but some people are born with it. It can cause hearing loss among other symptoms.
- Meniere’s Disease: A disorder of the inner ear that affects hearing and balance.
- Meningitis: This can be a bacterial or viral infection where the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord become inflamed or swollen. This can affect the nerve endings in the ear or the cochlea itself and cause hearing loss.
- Otosclerosis: This is a condition of abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear.
- Usher’s Syndrome: A genetic disease that can cause vision loss and hearing loss.
- Vestibular Labyrinthitis: Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis are disorders resulting from an infection that inflames the inner ear or the nerves connecting the inner ear to the brain. This inflammation disrupts the transmission of sensory information from the ear to the brain. Vertigo, dizziness, and difficulties with balance, vision, or hearing may result.
- Cancer Treatments that use ototoxic medications: Certain medications that are used in cancer treatments can cause hearing loss. One of the first signs is a ringing in the ears known as tinnitus.
Audiology Associates of Greeley is Here to Help You with all Your Listening Needs
If you have any questions about hearing loss or hearing aids, please contact us at the Audiology Associates of Greeley to speak with one of our hearing professionals. We are here to help you with all of your listening needs and your overall hearing health.