February 2, 2011

Your Health Affects Your Hearing

Parker,-Molly-NEWBy Dr. Molly Parker
Parker Audiology, PC
(Don White Hearing Aid Center)

Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Diabetes is a disease that affects all systems of the body. We have known for years that vision loss is correlated
with diabetes and warrants periodic monitoring. It is now documented to affect hearing. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), hearing loss among diabetics is 30% higher than with non-diabetics. Over time, elevated blood glucose levels associated with Diabetes will harm these tiny blood vessels and nerves of the inner ear, gradually decreasing hearing acuity. It is recommended that patients with diabetes should obtain a baseline hearing test and have their hearing checked periodically. Periodic hearing screenings should be considered as well. This information was obtained from www.diabetes.org and www.betterhearing.org

Viagra and Hearing Loss

It has been widely advertised on Erectile Dysfunction (ED) commercials that medication such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra may be correlated with hearing loss. According to The Archives of Otolaryngoloty-Head and Neck Surgery, Dr. Gerald McGwin of the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that use of ED medication increases the blood flow which may damage certain tissues in the inner ear, resulting in sudden hearing loss. On the initial trials in 2003-2006, hearing loss was reported twice as often from men who used ED medications compared to men who did not use the medication. While there are limitations in this study, there are concerns for men under reporting their hearing loss. There may also be other pre-existing conditions that can contribute towards hearing loss that have not been studied. The link is strong enough to warn all potential users of this medication. As always, consult and report any side effects with your physician. http://www.healthyhearing.com/articles/47446-viagra-hearing-loss

Cardiovascular Health on Hearing Functioning

According to Dr. Raymond Hull, Wichita State University, a comprehensive review of the past 60 years of research has indicated a relationship between cardiovascular health and hearing loss, including the processing of speech. The relationship appears to be stronger among older adults. More research is obviously needed in this area but potentially this may have implications for cardiac rehabilitation and hearing loss. This summary was obtained from the American Journal of Audiology Vol.19 9-16 June 2010. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2010/08-0040) © American Speech-Language-Hearing Association