The link Between Osteoporosis and Hearing Loss
You might not think there are many links between bone health/density and your hearing health, but it has become clear that people who experience osteoporosis are more likely to also develop hearing loss at some point.
The exact mechanics of why this happens aren’t fully understood, though researchers have some prevalent theories, such as the fact that osteoporosis can affect the tiny bones in your ears can play an important role in transmitting sound.
Furthermore, people who experience osteoporosis are also known to be a lot more prone to what is called sudden hearing loss. As the name suggests, this is when the symptoms of hearing loss can come on very suddenly instead of the gradual progression that is more common with the condition.
Sometimes, individuals can lose hearing in a matter of days, sometimes it can happen all at once. While the cause of sudden hearing loss is almost always impossible to fully diagnose, links to osteoporosis have been found in a small number of cases. This does not demonstrate a causal link between the two, but it is worth knowing about.
Knowing the Risk Factors for Both
If you are concerned about the risk of osteoporosis and hearing loss, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with them, it’s important to know when to get yourself tested. The more risk factors that apply to you, the more you might want to schedule a test.
Exposure to excessive levels of noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss, but there are also genetic factors, as well as the use of certain medications, such as blood pressure medication, that can put you at more risk of experiencing it. If any of these play a role in your life, then a hearing test might be well worth looking into.
Bone mass loss, a key feature of osteoporosis, can be more likely in people that smoke, drink alcohol, have fractured bones in the past, have a family history of osteoporosis, or experience health issues such as menopause, chronic liver disease or chronic kidney disease. A bone density test can help to diagnose any currently untreated osteoporosis.
A leading risk factor in both hearing loss and osteoporosis is aging. By the time you reach 66, you should be going for a hearing test and a bone density scan once a year.
Reducing the Risk and Impacts of Osteoporosis
If you are concerned about your chances of developing osteoporosis, then it is important to know that there are measures to take. There are several means to prevent or reduce your chances of osteoporosis. Regular exercise, including weight-bearing exercises, is recommended to keep the bones strong. Improving your diet with more calcium and vitamin D to absorb that calcium is widely recommended. Vitamin D can be difficult to absorb entirely through food, so you might want to look into making use of supplements to get your recommended amount as well.
However, the fact remains. If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, then you should make sure that you have more regular hearing checks, even if you are taking measures to manage your symptoms. While the link might not be as fully understood as we might like, there is a definite relationship between osteoporosis and the increased risk of hearing loss. It’s best to stay on top of it with an annual hearing test from your hearing instrument specialist.
Get in Touch with a Hearing Instrument Specialist Today
If you are concerned that you are at a greater risk of hearing loss, whether it’s due to osteoporosis or anything else, then your hearing instrument specialist can help. With a hearing test, they can diagnose any hearing loss and recommend the device best suited to treat it. Learn more about how the Beck Hearing Aid Centre can help by calling on (888) 618-3778