Studies link osteoporosis and hearing loss, theorizing that demineralisation of the three middle ear bones may contribute to a conductive hearing impairment.
Researchers aren’t sure what biological mechanism is responsible for the relationship. It is believed cardiovascular risk factors, bone demineralisation, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction may contribute to the association.
The study took place in Taiwan and focused on 10,660 patients with newly diagnosed osteoperosis and 31,980 patients without. The study concluded the following:
- People who have osteoporosis face a 1.76-fold higher risk of developing sudden deafness than those who do not have the bone disease
- Links to sudden sensorineural hearing loss
- The participants who were diagnosed with osteoporosis had a much higher risk of developing sudden sensorineural hearing loss than the control group
How to protect yourself from Osteoperosis?
- Calcium – Ensure you are meeting your daily calcium requirements. Almost 99% of calcium in the body is found in the bones. Foods that contain particularly high levels of calcium include milk and yoghurt, salmon and sardines, soy based products fortified with calcium, broccoli, bok choy, silverbeet, chickpeas and almonds. Try and incorporate as many of these foods as possible in your daily diet to give yourself a boost of calcium.
- Vitamin D – Regulates calcium levels in the blood and supports healthy bones. Sunlight is the greatest source of vitamin D, so make sure you are getting enough sunlight each day without harming your skin. Check the Cancer Council websute for recommendations. A simple blood test determines your vitamin D levels and your GP may suggest you take supplements to increase your levels if you are lacking.
- Exercise – Regular exercise is vital for bone density as builds strong and healthy muscles to support your bones. Certain types of exercise have proven to be more effective for bone strength, these include, brisk walking, netball, tennis, skipping and aerobics. Progressive resistance training can also be highly effective over time. It is recommended you exercise at least 3 times a week to reap the benefits for your bones.
If you have osteoperosis, the above exercises still apply but you may need to be more careful with the weight and intensity. Speak to your endocrinologist or GP for guidance on what is best for you.
We also recommend that osteoperosis patients are having their hearing checked annually to protect themselves against any hearing loss, or begin treatment as early as possible. Our Attune Hearing audiologists work with a wide range of patients of all ages performing diagnostic hearing tests to diagnose even the slightest sign of a hearing loss.
- Increased Risk of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Patients with Osteoporosis: A Population-based, Propensity Score-matched, Longitudinal Follow-Up Study. Yeh MC, Weng SF, Shen YC, Chou CW, Yang CY, Wang JJ, Tien KJ. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2015
- Does bone mineral density have an effect on hearing loss in postmenopausal patients?
- Ozkiriş M, Karaçavuş S Kapusuz Z, Balbaloğlu O, Saydam L. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2013 Oct;122(10):648-52.