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Hypertension and Hearing Loss

Author: Dr. Shyam Kalyan N - Ear health  

Communication is an important aspect of human life and the sense of hearing is very important for any kind of communication. Hypertension is an independant risk factor for hearing loss as it alters the microcirculation in the inner ear and thus degeneration of the inner ear.

Warning Signs of Hypertension: Hypertension is a silent disease, but people may present with the following signs.

  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Tinnitus (ringing sound heard in the ear without any simultaneously applied sound).
  • Weakness.
  • Structural changes in the heart and blood vessels.

Mechanisms of Development of Hearing Loss in Hypertensives:

  • One mechanism explained is the increase in blood viscosity that reduces the blood flow in the capillaries, thereby reducing oxygen transport. This causes tissue hypoxia (reduced oxygenation), thus causing hearing loss in patients.
  • Inner ear damage can occur due to a high pressure in the vascular system. This can cause progressive hearing loss.
  • Arterial hypertension may cause ionic changes that can lead to hearing loss.
  • Hypertension causes degeneration of the inner ear due to an alteration in the microcirculation, thus accelerating the aging process in the inner ears.

Various studies have been undertaken which prove that hypertension accelerates the development of hearing loss. They show significant correlation between hearing loss and blood pressure levels. Some studies have concluded that hearing loss in the elderly is the end result of a long duration of hypertension and its related complications. There have been studies which specifically show the effect hypertension has on the vascular psychodynamics of the cochlea.

Hence, there must be regular ear check ups among the hypertensives. Any hearing loss before the discovery of hypertension should be clearly documented. Hypertensives should strictly take their medications and adhere to the doctors’ advice so as to maintain their blood pressures in the acceptable range and eventually avoid the complications of hypertension.

Even if you note a minute change in your hearing capacity, consult an ENT otolaryngologist online for help --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist

Image: Hypertension and Hearing Loss Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018

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