Healthy Ears Could Mean Healthy…Hips?


Picture of woman running. You can see her bones like an x-ray.

What do hip fractures have to do with hearing loss? A lot, apparently. Recent studies show just another very important reason that hearing care is essential to your overall health.

Let’s take a look.

Osteoporosis & Hearing Loss

Multiple studies have shown a distinct link between osteoporosis and hearing loss — both gradual and sudden. One such study showed osteoporosis sufferers are 76% more likely to experience sudden hearing loss than the general public. This form of hearing loss can strike suddenly taking most or all of the hearing within days. Sometimes it’s temporary. Others, it’s permanent.

Just like you have bones in your hips, feet, and arms serving essential functions, tiny bones within your ears are responsible for transmitting sound through the canal.

As bones throughout the body feel the effects of osteoporosis, so do the bones in the ears. This can lead to tinnitus (ringing) and other hearing challenges. Low bone density not only increases the risk of falls; it also impacts hearing.

For many people, this can be a double whammy. Here’s why.

The Inner Ear & Balance

Within this same bony structure lies the system responsible for helping you maintain your balance. As these bones degenerate, a person can struggle with balance as well. This lack of balance can cause a person to suddenly feel disoriented, leading to a fall that could cause a bone fracture.

Also, this lack balance can cause “awkward” and “unaligned” movements like turning your ankle in or walking with a hip higher than the other. That puts extra stress on joints, causing joint pain.

Fortunately, with early testing and prevention, you can avoid this outcome.

Hearing Loss and Balance Testing

Getting a regular hearing test can help detect these issues early. As with many ailments, early detection is key to either reversing injuries or preventing further damage.

In addition to a traditional “raise your hand” hearing test, you may have an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test. This non-invasive test that looks at how your brain responds to sounds on a brainwave chart. The hearing specialist can analyze this to evaluate your condition.

You might also have a videonystagmography (VNG) test. This exam tracks eye movements while you watch something move around. At the same time, they stimulate the ear canals with air to help them detect abnormalities.

Preventing Bone Loss & Hearing Loss

Early detection is important, but the earlier you start improving your overall health, the better outcome you can expect.

If there are early signs of hearing loss, bone loss or the resulting tinnitus and imbalance, they may recommend hearing aids. In addition, they’ll encourage you to make some lifestyle changes to improve your health like:

  • Getting more calcium & vitamin D (from food and sun when possible)
  • Exercising regularly since bones throughout the body, strengthen from use.
  • Avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol to 2-3 drinks
  • Eating a well-balanced diet with a wide range of whole foods to meet your nutritional requirements

Don’t wait to make healthy changes to protect your hearing, bones, and joints. See your hearing specialist. Get a hearing test, and if you need one a balance test, to understand the state of your health better.

 

 

 

Want more information?

Checkout these related articles

Man with his hand up to his ear experiencing sudden hearing loss in one ear.
Kevin St. Clergy
| October 27, 2020

Is It an Emergency If I Can’t Hear Out of One Ear Suddenly?

Are you having trouble hearing out of one ear? Find out what could be causing it and how to treat it. […]

Read More…

medpb marketing for audiologists
Kevin St. Clergy
| October 26, 2020

Smell and Taste Aren’t the Only Senses Affected by COVID-19

One of the most unusual symptoms of COVID-19 is that it can temporarily dampen your senses of smell and taste. Indeed, loss of smell is […]

Read More…

Man in the dentist's chair.
Kevin St. Clergy
| October 26, 2020

The Crazy Connection Between Your Mouth and Ears

Are you brushing and flossing? Not a question you’d expect from your audiologist, but here’s why it’s essential! […]

Read More…

Find A Hearing Expert Near You Today

Discover everything you need to know about hearing loss and hearing aids and find top local hearing experts.

Find An Expert