Hearing loss or difficulty in hearing is frustrating for the affected patients and their loved ones. Several studies have shown a strong relationship between hearing loss, low quality of life, and chronic diseases. In the U.S., more than one-third of women above 50 years have some degree of hearing difficulties. The percentage increases with advancing age.
Most people with hearing loss report hearing aids improve their hearing abilities. However, the first step is seeing an audiologist for a prescription. You should also shop for quality and perfectly fitting hearing aids from HearCanada. To honor the soon-approaching Women’s Health Week, below are some things women should know about hearing health.
Women With Hearing Loss are Most Likely to Be Depressed
There’s a strong association between hearing loss and depression among adults, particularly women. Hearing abilities are important, as they ease communication among people. Seamless communication makes it easy to build fulfilling relationships and interact with others. Mild, moderate, or total deafness interferes with someone’s ability to socialize freely and communicate.
This affects the person’s quality of interactions, whether the person wants to order a meal or relay a message through the phone. Losing your hearing and the ability to participate in everyday social interactions can take a toll on your mental being. Affected persons can start isolating themselves from others, feel shame or embarrassment, lonely, and depressed. Hearing loss also affects balance and posture. This restricts the affected persons from participating in physical activities, leading to depression.
Those With Diabetes are Twice Likely to Develop Hearing Loss
Most people don’t know that diabetes puts them at risk for hearing loss. However, hearing loss is twice common in patients with diabetes than in those who don’t. Even those diagnosed with pre-diabetes are 30% more likely to develop hearing loss than individuals with normal sugar levels.
Over time, diabetes causes nerve damage, which affects several body parts, including the kidney, hands, feet, eyes, and ears. High blood sugar levels cause damage to the nerves and small blood vessels supplying the inner ear. This affects how nerve signals travel from the inner part of the ear to the brain, causing progressive hearing loss.
Long Use of Pain Relievers Can Cause Hearing Loss in Women
Drugs have several unwanted effects, which include tinnitus, hearing loss, dizziness, and balance problems. While more than 200 medications are known to cause balance disorders and hearing loss, the severity of these drugs varies depending on the dosage and length of use. However, ototoxicity is more likely to develop as the drug accumulates in the body.
That said, several studies have tied OTC pain medications, such as acetaminophen and aspirin, to hearing loss in women, particularly after prolonged use of high dosages. A study by the American Journal of Medicine found strong correlations between analgesics and the risk of hearing loss. Another study done to evaluate hearing loss patterns among women taking NSAIDs found similar results. Pregnant mothers using NSAIDs also increase the risk of the baby developing congenital hearing loss.
Hearing loss is a common problem, especially for aging adults. Women of all ages are encouraged to schedule frequent hearing tests. Fortunately, you can start by taking a quick online hearing test to determine if you need a comprehensive hearing test.