Researchers in health related disorder studies reveal a significant relationship between hearing loss and associated disease risk factors. The following medical links are listed to include life-threatening co-morbidities:
- The onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is suspected to be linked to untreated hearing loss.
- Hearing loss is more prevalent in patients with diabetes. It appears that inner ear damage is more common in patients with Type II diabetes.
- Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a significant increase in falls and balance disorders.
- Poor cardiovascular health i.e.) inadequate blood flow and blood vessel damage can adversely affect inner ear health. Low frequency hearing loss can be a marker that may predict the presence or potential development of cardiovascular disease.
- Drug ototoxicity when treating cancer and respiratory disorders has potential long term implications including sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus.
It is therefore recommended that baseline audiological evaluations be included for patients to enable the primary care physician to be proactive in addressing any hearing declines and potential health risks over time.
John Hopkins Medicine. Hearing Loss Accelerates Brain Function Decline in Older Adults, (http:www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/hearing_loss_accelerates_brain_function_decline_in_older_adults)
The Hearing Review. Hearing Loss Linked to Accelerated Brain Tissue Loss (http:www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/hearing_loss_linked_to_accelerated_brain_tissue_loss)
Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc. 10 Constitution Avenue, Piscataway, N.J. 088545