Comorbidities of Hearing Loss
In the last several years, many important studies have linked hearing loss to disabling conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, clinical depression, diabetes, falls, heart disease, and many more. These linkages are referred to as comorbidities, which is the presence of one or more additional conditions often co-occurring with a primary condition.
Cognitive Impairment or Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Hearing loss has been associated with cognitive decline and is more prevalent in older adults with dementia and/or Alzheimer's disease than in older adults with no memory issues.
There is a significant increased risk of depression in adults with hearing loss. This stems from the social isolation that often occurs with hearing loss. Hearing loss also results in increased anxiety and fatigue which can lead to depression.
Older adults with hearing loss report experiencing falls almost three times more often than adults with normal hearing.
Patients with diabetes have an increased prevalence of hearing loss. The poor circulation individuals with diabetes experience starves the inner ear of the blood flow it needs to thrive and this breakdown leads to hearing loss.
Hearing loss occurs in 40-80% of individuals treated with Cisplatin. Chemotherapy drugs can be ototoxic leading to hearing loss.
Individuals with heart disease are at greater risk of developing hearing loss.
Hearing loss is common among older adults with chronic kidney disease due to the build up of toxins in the body.