Hearing loss is increasingly recognized as a serious medical condition that affects quality of life. Common issues associated with untreated hearing loss include social isolation, confusion, and even severe depression. However, there is also evidence that hearing loss is tied to other medical conditions.
The structures of the ear help regulate your balance. Problems with hearing and your ears are linked to falls resulting in injuries. Older people who fall are at greater risk for other associated problems. Any symptoms related to feeling off-balance should be investigated and a hearing test is part of any systemic evaluation.
Cancer treatment drugs, including cisplatin and carboplatin, have been shown to affect hearing in patients. If you or someone you know is undergoing treatment with these drugs, be sure to carefully monitor hearing and be ready to make changes to dosage or frequency of the medication. With proper intervention, you should be able to treat the cancer without fear of hearing loss.
Low frequency hearing loss is associated with some cardiovascular disease. If you test your hearing and learn you have such loss, you may also be a candidate to check on conditions to vascular disease, strokes, and other heart conditions. In this way, treating your hearing loss may save your life.
Since hearing is intimately tied to communication, persons who suffer from untreated hearing loss can often thought to suffer from dementia or other memory loss diseases. This confusion can create additional social and medical problems. A hearing test is a necessary part of any evaluation of dementia.
Hearing is an integral part of your health. It is important to include diagnostic hearing tests as part of your overall preventative care plan. Knowing your hearing health allows you to get the best treatment and may even help your heart and mind!