Hearing loss has previously been linked to numerous health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and dementia. Australian researchers have found that older adults with moderate chronic kidney disease have a higher prevalence of hearing loss. Read on to learn more about what this connection means.
What Is Chronic Kidney Disease?
A gradual loss of kidney function over time is known as chronic kidney disease or CKD. About 37 million American adults have CKD and millions more are at an increased risk of developing this disease.
Your kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste. When they stop working, waste can build up in your blood and make you sick. Complications from kidney disease include:
- High blood pressure
- Weak bones
- Poor nutritional health
- Nerve damage
Chronic kidney disease can develop slowly over time and can be caused by other disorders such as diabetes and high blood pressure. If left untreated, CDK can lead to kidney failure, which will require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Kidney Disease Study
The researchers enrolled nearly 3,000 individuals age 50 or older. A total of 513 of the participants has been diagnosed with moderate chronic kidney disease, and of those, 54% reported some level of hearing loss. This is significantly higher than the 28% of those who had hearing loss without CKD.
The link between chronic kidney disease and hearing loss may be related to an issue with the inner ear, as the inner ear relies on good blood circulation to work well. The toxins that accumulate in the body may also damage the nerves in the inner ear, leading to hearing loss.
Another connection may relate to the cause of the chronic kidney disease. Diabetes, high blood pressure and even advanced age can lead to kidney disease as well as hearing loss.
The researchers hope the findings from this study will prompt patients with chronic kidney disease to have their hearing tested. Much like CKD, hearing loss is best treated when caught early.
To learn more about the connection between chronic kidney disease and hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact Victory Hearing & Balance today.