Cholesterol is a lipid that is produced by your liver and found in your blood and cells. It can also be absorbed by eating certain foods. In the correct amount, cholesterol is essential for your body to function. However, too much cholesterol can lead to significant health problems, including hearing loss.
What the Research Says
Multiple studies have shown a connection between high cholesterol and an increased risk of hearing loss, including:
- A 2011 study found that a diet high in cholesterol can negatively impact hearing. Additionally, results indicated that switching to a low-cholesterol diet and taking cholesterol-lowering medications decreased the participant’s risk of hearing loss.
- A 2014 study found that patients with high cholesterol were more likely to experience sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
How Can High Cholesterol Affect My Hearing?
Having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease and impact blood flow throughout the body. If enough blood flow to your ears is impacted, it can cause damage to the hair cells and/or auditory nerve, both of which play vital roles in the hearing process. This damage can cause permanent hearing loss.
Keep Your Cholesterol Levels in Check
High cholesterol levels can be the result of many factors. Some of which, like genetics, are out of your control. However, both diet and exercise have been shown to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels as well. Try to get regular exercise by working in your garden, taking a yoga class, or going on walks through Cedar Creek Park, and eat a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Also, make sure to have regular checkups with your primary care provider. If your cholesterol is high, they can catch it early and prescribe medication and lifestyle modifications to get it under control.
Get Checked for Hearing Loss
If you’re concerned that high cholesterol has affected your hearing, schedule an appointment for a hearing test. These exams are quick, painless and can give your audiologist immediate insight into your hearing ability. If permanent hearing loss is discovered, you will likely be prescribed hearing aids. The right pair can help make it easier for you to navigate any environment and ensure you stay connected to what’s most important to you.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Nelson Hearing Clinics today.