So many of us take our hearing for granted… until sounds become less sharp and words become more garbled. It’s usually a loved one or close friend who notices our hearing loss. We are very good at adapting to our surroundings, so recognizing our own hearing loss can take some time.
Not only is healthy hearing connected to an active lifestyle and strong social interactions, it is also connected to overall health. Here are five facts about how important healthy hearing is to other health statuses.
- Cardiovascular and hearing health are connected. Studies show that a healthy cardiovascular system positively affects hearing. Conversely, inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss. Some experts even believe that because the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow, it is possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body-making the ear a kind of “window to the heart.”
- People with diabetes are about twice as likely to have hearing loss as those without it.
- People who don’t address hearing loss are more prone to depression. Fortunately, studies show that people with hearing loss who use hearing aids often have fewer depressive symptoms, greater social engagement, and improved quality of life.
- Hearing loss is tied to a three-fold risk of falling. One study found that even people with mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling.
- A study of older adults showed that those with moderate chronic kidney disease had a higher prevalence of hearing loss than those of the same age without the disease.
So it appears our hearing is so much more than a simple sensory input system! It is deeply connected to our overall well being. That’s just one more good reason to have your hearing checked annually at Sandia Hearing Center. We offer comprehensive hearing exams, treatments, and hearing aid devices for people of all ages and lifestyles.
So the next time you think you’re having trouble hearing something or someone, take a moment and realize how important your hearing is to maintaining a healthy life. Listen to your ears. They may be telling you something.