The Link Between Chronic Disease and Hearing Loss Austin TX

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The Link Between Chronic Disease and Hearing Loss Austin TX

  1. 1. The Link Between Chronic Disease and Hearing Loss: Are You at Risk?The Better Hearing Institute has developed a new syndicatedarticle summarizing the link between chronic diseases andhearing loss. It has been released to 15,000 media outlets.This opinion editorial is now available for download. Hearinghealth professionals may modify the article to promote theirpractice. Here is the article in its entirety. (ARA) - Hearing loss isn’t a harmless condition to be ignored. In fact, hearing loss often coexists with other serious health problems. And a growing body of research indicates that there may be a link. Studies show that people with heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidneydisease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression may all have anincreased risk of hearing loss.When left untreated, hearing loss alone can lead to a widerange of physical and emotional conditions. Impaired memoryand the impaired ability to learn new tasks, reduced alertness,increased risk to personal safety, irritability, negativism, anger,fatigue, tension and stress are among its more common sideeffects. But when untreated hearing loss coexists with achronic illness, the likelihood is all the greater that theindividual will experience exacerbated levels of stress anddiminished quality of life.Here’s the good news: Research also indicates thatprofessionally fitted hearing aids can help improve quality of
  2. 2. life for people with chronic diseases when hearing loss doescoexist.“In the vast majority of cases, hearing loss can be addressedwith hearing aids to help people hear better and improve theirquality of life,” says Dr. Sergei Kochkin, executive director ofthe Better Hearing Institute (BHI). “I strongly urge anyonewith heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease,Alzheimer’s, and/or depression to talk with their doctor andmake hearing screenings a routine part of their medical care.”BHI encourages people to take a free, quick, and confidentialonline hearing test at www.hearingcheck.org to determine ifthey need a comprehensive hearing check by a hearingprofessional. For more information on hearing loss, visitwww.betterhearing.org.The link between hearing loss and certain chronic diseasesNumerous studies have long linked untreated hearing loss todiminished psychological and overall health. But an emergingbody of research is now revealing a link between hearing lossand other chronic health conditions.For example, hearing loss is about twice as common in adultswith diabetes compared to those who do not have the disease,according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health(NIH) and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.Another study, published in the American Journal of KidneyDiseases found that older adults with moderate chronic kidneydisease (CKD) have a higher prevalence of hearing loss thanthose of the same age without CKD.Other studies have shown that a significantly higherpercentage of people with Alzheimers disease may have
  3. 3. hearing loss than their normally aging peers. In fact, olderadults with hearing loss appear more likely to developdementia, and their risk increases as hearing loss becomesmore severe, according to a study published in the Archives ofNeurology,. The researchers also found that the risk ofdeveloping Alzheimers disease specifically increased withhearing loss.The link between unaddressed hearing loss and depression alsois compelling. An Italian study found that working adults aged35 to 55 who were affected by mild to moderate hearing loss inboth ears reported higher levels of disability and psychologicaldistress — and lower levels of social functioning — than a well-matched normal control population.Perhaps the link between cardiovascular disease and hearingloss is the most widely recognized. In a study published in theJune 2010 issue of the American Journal of Audiology, theauthors reviewed research that had been conducted over thepast 60 plus years. They found that the negative influence ofimpaired cardiovascular health on both the peripheral andcentral auditory system, and the potential positive influence ofimproved cardiovascular health on these same systems, wasfound through a sizable body of research.“With so much evidence emerging on the potential linkbetween hearing loss and various chronic illnesses, it becomesall the more pressing for people to identify and address hearingloss early on,” Kochkin says. “Talk to your doctor. Get yourhearing checked. And be assured that in most cases, today’sstate-of-the-art hearing aids, programmed to the specifichearing requirements of the individual, can help people hearbetter and thereby regain quality of life.”
  4. 4. The Better Hearing Institute is a not-for-profit educational organization whosemission is to educate the public about the loss of hearing, its treatment andprevention. www.betterhearing.org. For More Information, Call Austin Hearing Services At: (512) 851-0847 Or Visit Us At: http://www.hearing-aids-austin-tx.com

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