How Osteoporosis Can Affect Your Hearing Health

Osteoporosis can affect anyone. In the US, more than 50 million Americans either have Osteoporosis or are at risk of developing it. Osteoporosis causes bone demineralization, which significantly weakens and damages bone structure. Making bones fragile and prone to breaking.

What’s the Connection Between Hearing Loss and Osteoporosis?

The inner ear contains three tiny bones essential for hearing. These bones, like all bones in the body, can be affected by osteoporosis. The eardrum, a crucial membrane for hearing, is connected to these bones. For us to hear, sound waves must hit the eardrum. If osteoporosis damages these bones, it can disrupt this process, leading to conductive hearing loss. A study from the University of Illinois in 2013 highlighted this connection, suggesting that osteoporosis could contribute to gradual hearing loss.

Research into Hearing Loss and Osteoporosis

Further research, including a study from Taiwan, has found that individuals with osteoporosis are nearly twice as likely to experience Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) compared to those without the condition. SSHL typically affects one ear and can happen suddenly or over a few days. This type of hearing loss results from damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways from the ear to the brain. 

The Taiwanese study observed a group of people over time, comparing those with osteoporosis to those without. Findings revealed that individuals with osteoporosis had a 76 percent higher chance of developing SSHL. Specifically, women with osteoporosis were 87 percent more likely to experience this sudden hearing loss.

In the United States, SSHL affects 1 in 5000 people annually. While 50% of those affected may regain their hearing naturally, up to 85% can recover normal hearing with prompt treatment, ideally within 2 to 4 weeks from the onset of hearing loss. Quick medical consultation is crucial for anyone experiencing sudden hearing loss.

How You Can Protect Your Hearing

The relationship between osteoporosis and hearing loss necessitates further investigation to fully understand its implications. Those at risk or already diagnosed with osteoporosis should be vigilant about their hearing health and seek immediate attention for any hearing concerns. Regular check-ups with hearing specialists are advisable, along with preventive actions to safeguard hearing, such as:

  • Wearing earplugs in noisy environments.
  • Lowering the volume of audio devices.
  • Allowing ears to rest after exposure to loud sounds.
  • Avoiding the use of cotton swabs in the ears.
  • Keeping ears dry to prevent infections.
  • Managing stress levels effectively.

These measures can help mitigate the risk of hearing loss associated with osteoporosis and ensure prompt treatment for any sudden hearing impairments.

Contact Us Today & Get Your Hearing Checked

At REM Audiology, our hearing care professionals are on hand to help you with your hearing needs. Hearing assessments are quick and painless, and treating your hearing loss can go a long way towards improving your quality of life. To book your appointment, call us today on (888) 710-5734. Alternatively, click here to contact us online.

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The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness and to determine if the consumer may benefit from using hearing aids, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Assessment conclusion is not a medical diagnosis and further testing may be required to diagnose hearing loss. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals.