Hearing loss is not always due to cranking up the music through earbuds or prolonged exposure to other sounds.
Sometimes, the cause of our hearing impairment comes from within. There are a number of diseases that can contribute to hearing loss.
High Blood Pressure
A very common disease affecting nearly 75 million Americans, high blood pressure causes damage to arteries and blood vessels throughout the body – including the ears. Pressure on these blood thoroughfares causes damage to their linings and eventually, the buildup of fatty plaque. Hearing ability generally goes down as blood pressure rises.
Individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing impairment as those without the disease, while even those in the pre-diabetic stage have a 30% higher rate of hearing loss. Elevated levels of blood sugar may be the culprit for the connection between diabetes and hearing loss, although it has not been proven at this point. Researchers believe the excessive sugar levels may cause nerve damage, hurting the ability of the nerves and blood vessels in the inner ear to do their job.
Chronic Kidney Disease
This gradual loss of kidney function has been linked to having a 43% greater risk of hearing impairment. The connection between the two? Studies suggest that the disease’s buildup of toxins damages nerves throughout the body, including those associated with hearing.
This viral infection – quite rare these days due to vaccine requirements for public schools – inflames the salivary glands. The virus has been found to damage the tiny hair cells of the inner ear. These damaged cells lead to a permanent hearing loss.