Hearing loss, which can affect everyone of all ages, can occur due to many different reasons such as heredity, aging, and disease. Mild or more severe losses in one or both ears can seriously affect the social life of the person and cause different difficulties.
Sleep apnea can block blood flow to the ear
Assoc. Dr. Tansuker said that the connection between sleep apnea and hearing loss has been shown by different studies: “The most common obstructive sleep apnea is when the muscles and tissues around the airway relax, so there is difficulty in breathing. Therefore, the patient wakes up frequently at night due to intense snoring and shortness of breath. Sleep apnea is an important problem that needs to be treated because it not only causes fatigue, but also tires the heart and increases the risk of heart disease. “Although it has not been definitively revealed whether sleep apnea is directly related to hearing loss, Assoc. Dr. Deniz Tansuker said, “Ears also need a healthy blood flow in order to function properly. The cochlea, our sensitive hearing organ in the inner ear, can be damaged as a result of intermittent lack of oxygen. Although it is thought that there are some other mechanisms, sleep apnea can cause hearing problems because it disrupts this blood flow. Sleep apnea, which has been associated with many cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, heart rhythm disorder, heart failure, stroke and sudden death, can also be a risk factor for hearing loss and should be treated.
Hearing loss can also occur in iron deficiency.
Reminding that hearing loss, which can be seen in about 15% of adults, increases with every decade of life, it affects 65% to 40% of adults over the age of 66 and 85% of those over the age of 80, Assoc. Dr. “Risk factors for early onset of adult hearing loss include hypertension, diabetes, and tobacco use,” said Tansuker. Explaining the relationship between iron deficiency and hearing loss in a study conducted at the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine, Assoc. Dr. Tansuker provided the following information: “Researchers analyzed the medical records of 21 adults aged 90 to 305.339 years and showed that anemia and hearing loss are linked, especially for a common type of anemia that causes low iron levels. In the light of these data, it has been determined that hearing loss is approximately 2 times more common in those who have iron deficiency problems than those who do not.”
Those with hearing loss should also be evaluated for anemia.
Reminding that iron helps blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the body, Assoc. Dr. “The inner ear needs a healthy, oxygen-rich blood flow to function normally. Although the role of iron in the inner ear has not been clearly determined by researchers, the lack of blood flow to this area means a lack of blood supply. Oxygen is also necessary for the health of the sensory hair cells in the inner ear, which are involved in converting sound into electrical impulses. Therefore, it is not yet fully known whether the early diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency anemia will positively affect the general health status of adults with hearing loss, but it is beneficial for those with this type of problem to have their hearing checked and those who have hearing problems to be evaluated for anemia.
Mumps can damage the cochlea
Reminding that a number of viral infections can also cause hearing loss, Assoc. Dr. “Hearing loss caused by these viruses can be congenital or acquired, unilateral or bilateral. Some viral infections can directly damage inner ear structures, while others can induce hearing loss by inducing inflammatory responses that subsequently cause this damage. Mumps is an infection that can be seen in adults, although it is most common in school age and adolescent age groups, and is associated with hearing loss. Yeditepe University Hospitals Otorhinolaryngology Specialist Assoc. Dr. H. Deniz Tansuker conveyed the following information: “According to studies, only 1-4% of people with mumps have hearing problems. It is thought that this disease, which is known to be highly contagious, causes hearing loss as a result of damage to the cochlea in the ear. It is reported that temporary high frequency hearing loss, which is a rare complication, can be seen at a rate of 4%, and unilateral permanent hearing loss is approximately one in 20.000 cases. First of all, to be protected from the disease and to be vaccinated in childhood is one of the things to be done in terms of prevention.”