Hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder in the world. One in
Hearing Loss and Osteoporosis
Did you know that hearing loss and osteoporosis are linked? Research has shown that people with hearing loss are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. This is because age-related changes in the body cause both conditions. If you’re concerned about your risk of developing either condition, read for more information. Then, we’ll discuss the causes of hearing loss and osteoporosis and some treatment options.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle. This can lead to an increased risk of fractures, especially in the hips, spine and wrists. Osteoporosis is most common in older adults but can also affect younger people. Several factors increase your risk of developing osteoporosis, including:
- Family history: If you have a family member with osteoporosis, you’re more likely to develop the condition yourself.
- Gender: Women are more likely than men to develop osteoporosis. This is because they have less bone mass and lose bone more quickly as they age.
- Body size: Smaller people tend to be at a higher risk for osteoporosis because they have less bone mass.
- Ethnicity: Caucasians and Asians are more likely than other groups to develop osteoporosis.
- Diet: A diet low in calcium and vitamin D can increase your risk of osteoporosis.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can increase your risk of osteoporosis.
Understanding Hearing Loss
The auditory system is a complex process that begins with sound waves entering the ear and ending with the brain’s interpretation of those sound waves.
There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive and mixed. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve and is the most common type of hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem conducting sound waves through the middle ear. Finally, mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Hearing loss can be mild, moderate, severe or profound. People with mild hearing loss have difficulty understanding conversation in noisy environments. Moderate hearing loss may make it difficult to understand speech without amplification, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants. Severe hearing loss can make speech understanding possible only with amplification, and profound hearing loss makes speech understanding impossible without amplification.
There are many causes of hearing loss. Some causes are genetic, such as congenital hearing loss, a hearing loss present at birth. Other causes include exposure to loud noise, certain medications, head trauma and infectious diseases. Age-related hearing loss, also called presbycusis, is the most common type and affects more than half of adults age 75 and older.
The Link Between Osteoporosis and Hearing Loss
Recent studies have found that there may be a link between osteoporosis and hearing loss. One study found that people with osteoporosis were more likely to develop hearing loss than those without the condition. Another study found that people with hearing loss were more likely to have osteoporosis than those without hearing loss. The breakdown and deterioration of bones can contribute to hearing loss.
The Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism published a study that found a link between hearing loss and osteoporosis. The study examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). NHANES is a large, ongoing study that collects information on the health and nutrition of people in the United States. The study found that people with hearing loss were more likely to have osteoporosis than those without hearing loss.
There are many possible explanations for the link between hearing loss and osteoporosis. One explanation is that both conditions share risk factors, such as age, female gender and white race. Another explanation is that osteoporosis may cause hearing loss by affecting the bones in the ear.
The link between hearing loss and osteoporosis is still being studied. More research is needed to understand the exact relationship between these two conditions. If you have hearing loss, you may be at increased risk for osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about this risk and what you can do to prevent or treat both conditions.
If you think you might have hearing loss, make an appointment with an audiologist. An audiologist is a hearing health care professional who can evaluate your hearing and determine if you have a hearing loss. If you do have hearing loss, they can help you find the best treatment options for your individual needs. Don’t wait to get help if you think you might have hearing loss! Early intervention is essential for maintaining your hearing health. Please feel free to contact Dr. Eimer’s Hearing Clinic at 231-333-5118 for more information.