Can Osteoporosis Cause Hearing Loss?

No Bones About It: Osteoporosis May Nearly Double Risk of Sudden Hearing Loss

What does osteoporosis, a potentially debilitating disease affecting some 10 million Americans and 2 million Canadians, have in common with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, dementia, and other selected conditions? It can go hand in hand with hearing loss.

More specifically, at least one study links osteoporosis to a nearly doubled risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, a disease that can touch people of all ages around the globe but primarily affects those in their 50s and 60s.

What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by weakened bones that are more vulnerable to breakage. It occurs when the normal process of old bone being replaced by new bone slows down, putting the person at greater risk of serious problems such as hip, wrist, and spine fractures.

Though some osteoporosis risk factors such as …

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Is Weight Connected to Hearing Loss?

Is Weight Connected to Hearing Loss?

Studies about weight often concern its relation to overall health. Common connections include weight and the risk for or prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea, to name a few. One topic that doesn’t get as much attention is the connection between weight and risk for hearing loss. But is there a connection?

To understand how weight affects hearing, you need to know about something tiny but important in your inner ear: the hair cell.

The Hair Cell

Your brain doesn’t understand sound waves. Tiny, hair-like structures in your inner ear, called hair cells, translate sound waves into a language — electrical signals — your brain understands. It sends those signals to your brain through the auditory nerve, and your brain interprets the signals as sound information.

Care and Feeding of Your Hair Cells

Hair cells need plenty of oxygen, which they get from strong, rich blood flow. …

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Hearing Loss: One More Reason Not to Smoke

How Are Smoking and Hearing Loss Related?

The connection between smoking and heart disease, cancer, and respiratory problems gets all the attention, but the effects of smoking on hearing have long been known. If you’re one of the 40 million U.S. adults who smokes cigarettes — or someone who lives with a smoker — read on to find out how smoking is linked to hearing loss.

Some Facts

How does smoking affect hearing?

Compared to nonsmokers, smokers have a 70% greater chance of developing hearing loss. Nonsmokers are twice as likely to develop hearing loss if they live with a smoker. The greater your daily average of cigarettes, the greater your risk of developing hearing loss. Mothers who smoke during pregnancy increase their child’s risk for developing speech-language problems. If you work around high levels of occupational noise, smoking increases your risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Adolescents exposed to secondhand smoke are 2 to 3 times …

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The Inner Ear: A Tale of Two Systems

Are Balance Problems Related to Hearing Loss?

It’s common for people with hearing loss to have balance issues, and vice versa.

This phenomenon might even affect you or a loved one. Do they occur together as a coincidence, or are hearing and balance actually related? It turns out the answer is, “It depends.” Let’s look at some basics first.  

The Inner Ear

The inner ear is also known as the bony labyrinth, and it consists of both the cochlea and the vestibular system.

The cochlea (hearing): The cochlea is where sound signals are captured, converted to electrical signals, and sent to the brain to be interpreted as sound. The vestibular system (balance): This comprises three bony canals and two pouches. These work together to tell your brain where your head is in space, as well as when and how it’s moving.

 

Hearing and Balance Problems

Both hearing and balance depend heavily on the status of …

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Eyes and Ears: More in Common Than You Think!

Eyes and Ears: More in Common Than You Think!

4 Reasons to Keep Your Hearing and Vision in Check

We all know that eyes and ears play a huge role in helping people — and animals, too! — experience life’s adventures. Seeing or hearing the people, places, and moments that matter can make for wonderful, lasting memories.

But did you know that seeing and hearing have more in common than just their rock-star status? Here are four reasons to make regular checkups for hearing and vision an important part of your overall health and wellness:

Hearing actually enhances the sense of sight, according to a UCLA study, with both working as a team to help you perceive and participate in the world around you. In the study, which ran participants through a series of trials to correctly identify the direction in which a display of dots were moving, hearing the direction in which the dots …

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