Hearing loss has been linked to a number of other physical and mental health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression and anxiety. One Australian study has found another link to add to this list – kidney disease. We discuss this connection below.
What Is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Your kidneys, much like Belmont Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, are responsible for filtering waste out of your body. If they aren’t functioning like they’re supposed to, this can cause toxins to build up in your blood and make you sick. Because of this, possible complications include:
- High blood pressure
- Nerve damage
- Poor nutritional health
- Weak bones
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) describes a gradual loss of kidney function over time. Nearly 37 million Americans currently have CKD, and millions more are at risk. CKD, like hearing loss, can develop slowly over time and is often the result of other poorly managed conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Left untreated, CKD can result in kidney failure, requiring a transplant.
What Is the Link Between Kidney Disease and Hearing Loss?
In the study, researchers examined data from approximately 3,000 individuals ages 50 and older. A total of 513 participants had been diagnosed with CKD. Of those, 513 reported some level of hearing loss – significantly higher than the 28% who had hearing loss but not CKD.
Experts hypothesize that hearing loss and kidney disease are linked by a related issue with the inner ear. The inner ear relies on healthy blood circulation in order to function, but toxins that accumulate in the blood due to CKD can cause damage to the nerves, leading to hearing loss.
The connection may also be due to the fact that diabetes, high blood pressure and advanced age can all contribute to both hearing loss and kidney disease.
When to Get a Hearing Test
The results of this study show that if you’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease, it’s important to monitor changes to your hearing. Both CKD and hearing loss require early intervention in order to maximize the success of treatment.
For more information about the link between kidney disease and hearing loss, call the experts at Indiana Hearing Specialists today.