SOURCE: Miracle-Ear

March 31, 2010 16:18 ET

Miracle-Ear Points to Links Between Health Conditions and Hearing Loss

Company Recognizes World Health Day by Educating the Public

PLYMOUTH, MN--(Marketwire - March 31, 2010) -  In recognition of World Health Day on April 7th, Miracle-Ear is educating local residents on the hidden causes of hearing loss.

"Many people are aware that aging and exposure to high-decibel sounds can cause hearing damage, but there are several other health conditions that can have a negative impact on an individual's hearing," said Rebecca Younk, audiologist for Miracle-Ear. Younk says the following health conditions have been linked to hearing loss, but many people may not be aware of the connection:

  • Diabetes: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that hearing loss is about twice as common in adults with diabetes compared to those who don't have the disease. It is believed that diabetes may lead to hearing loss by damaging the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear.
  • Arthritis: When joints are inflamed due to arthritis, blood vessels are impacted and blood flow becomes restricted. This insufficient supply of blood to the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss.
  • Cancer: Chemotherapy treatments can affect the ear and radiation can also affect hearing levels if the ear is included in the radiation field. Younk suggests that patients who are receiving chemotherapy have their hearing tested before and after treatment.

According to the Better Hearing Institute, the majority of people with hearing loss -- 65 percent -- are under the age of 65. Furthermore, there are more than six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss, and nearly one and a half million are school age.

"I encourage people to review their medical history and investigate any changes in their hearing quality," added Younk. "Hearing impacts all aspects of life from professional endeavors to social interactions. When we sacrifice it, we sacrifice our quality of life."

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