We often hear about “comorbidities,” or medical conditions that commonly occur together. We also hear about behaviors that can affect our health. High risk activities, smoking, excessive alcohol, overeating, lack of exercise, and poor diet are associated with multiple health conditions. What has science found with regard to medical conditions, behavior, and occurrence of hearing loss?

First, we know certain medications can affect the ears. Loop diuretics (water pills), certain antibiotics, quinine, and chemotherapy drugs in particular, can adversely affect hearing. You may need your medicine, but be aware of the side effects.

Certainly, ear infections can affect the functioning of the ears. Ear wax occlusion will reduce hearing. Ear malformations may close off the ear canal and limit hearing. Exposure to excessive loudness levels (typically from jobs or hobbies) is damaging to the ears. These may be the conditions we think of first.

There are other conditions, though, that may appear unrelated to ears. Smoking is a risk factor for hearing loss. Diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), premature birth, low birth weight, stroke, brain injury, and cardiovascular disease are a few others. Cognitive impairment can affect the effectiveness of our hearing; the reverse may be true as well.

When we take care of our ears and hearing, we take care of communication, connection with our community, brain function, and quality of life. It turns out taking care of our bodies and our general health will help preserve our hearing and all that comes with it. It is truly all connected.

At Clear Choice Hearing and Balance, we wish to keep you on a clear path to good hearing and ear health. To learn more about what we offer and how we can help, we invite you to contact us today by calling 585-723-3440, emailing us through our secure contact form, or visiting our locations in Greece and Brighton.