Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2015

Osteoporosis Increases Risk of Sudden Hearing Loss

hand holding hourglass indicates time is a factor with sudden hearing loss

New research indicates that people who have osteoporosis have a greater chance of having an incident of sudden hearing loss. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones decline in strength and can be more easily broken. So what is the relationship of this condition to a sudden loss of hearing and how can someone with osteoporosis protect their hearing?

Tens of millions of people have osteoporosis. This condition, a weakening of the bones that leads to greater chance of bone breaks, is increasing throughout the world. If having this condition isn't enough to worry about, a new study conducted by the Endocrine Society and reported on by Science Daily indicates sudden hearing loss may go hand in hand with a decrease in bone density.

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) also known as sudden hearing loss or sudden deafness happens all at once and often without any pain at all. This unexpected loss of hearing can happen in one or both ears and is considered an emergency.

According to the Science Daily article, "one of the study's authors, Kai-Jen Tien, MD, of the Chi Mei Medical Center reported, "Our findings suggest sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) can be another broader health problem connected to osteoporosis."

Sudden hearing loss as related to osteoporosis is more likely to happen in one ear also known as unilateral hearing loss. This loss of hearing requires immediate medical intervention. Quick treatment is more likely to restore hearing--85% or patients with sudden hearing loss recover their hearing when treated quickly. The time limit to get help for sudden sensorineural hearing loss is what the Center for Hearing Loss Help defines as the “golden hour”. It’s not actually an hour. In fact, it’s best for a person to seek help within 24-48 hours to regain full hearing.has a short onset and must be treated quickly in order for a patient to have a chance of recovering their hearing.

This video below helps to expand on this news and on treatment for SSHL.

As of yet, researchers aren't sure why osteoporosis leads to a greater risk for SSHL. Theories include inflammation--other studies show inflammation can affect hearing-- and endothelial dysfunction. If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

Endocrine Society. "Osteoporosis diagnosis contributes to hearing loss risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2015. .

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