Osteoporosis & Hearing Loss, A Connection?
At this stage, I think we're all aware that hearing health is directly related to overall health and wellness. However, we were surprised recently to see an article quoting recent research that has linked bone and joint health and hearing health. The original article can be seen on The Starkey Hearing Blog.
The subject came up because of an awareness campaign. Bone and Joint Action week is held annually between October 12-20. The initiative is worldwide and the goal is to raise awareness on the prevention, management, and treatment of bone and joint disorders including arthritis, back pain, osteoporosis, and trauma.
Bone and joint conditions are in fact the most common cause of long term pain and physical disability in the United States. Now studies show that hearing health and bone health are in fact related. It seems that people living with osteoporosis are more likely to experience sensorineural (nerve deafness) hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss today. However, it appears that those living with osteoporosis show a higher incidence of sensorineural hearing loss than people without. They are also more likely to report experiencing tinnitus. It is believed that metabolic changes as well as the degeneration of the three tiny bones in the middle ear may contribute to hearing loss in individuals with osteoporosis.
Low bone mass density has also been linked to conductive hearing loss. This makes sense though: if the bones in the middle ear are compromised, it will result in a conductive hearing loss. In fact researchers found that bone mass density (BMD) has a strong correlation with conductive hearing loss. The lower a person's BMD, the more common and severe the conductive hearing loss.
What was interesting was that all women with osteoporosis in the study had hearing loss, regardless of their age. It is strong evidence for a significant relationship between the two conditions. In fact it suggests that diagnosis of hearing loss could be an early predictor of osteoporosis in women, and vice versa.
All women should be aware of their bone health, and they should also be aware of their hearing health. You can in fact keep both healthy by following these recommendations from The National Osteoporosis Foundation:
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D and eat a well balanced diet.
- Engage in regular exercise.
- Eat foods that are good for bone health, such as fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks a day.
You’re never too young or too old to improve your health. Adopting healthy habits now can ensure healthy bones, joints, and hearing for a lifetime. You're also never too young or too old to get a hearing test. You should consider it as part of your yearly medical checks.
So if you are looking for a hearing test, call us at 1-440-248-4790 or book your appointment online now