Knowledge

How Osteoporosis is Connected to Hearing Loss

Scientists and audiologists are learning about other diseases that can potentially increase an individual's chance of developing hearing loss down the road. Find out how studies have begun to show a link between hearing loss and Osteoporosis. 

If you suffer from osteoporosis, you may be more likely to experience sudden hearing loss, according to a 2015 study conducted in Taiwan and published in the Journal of Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The study on osteoporosis and hearing loss carried out by Dr. Kai-Jen Tien of the Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan City, Taiwan, examined the incidence of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNL) in osteoporosis patients.

The study found that those with the condition were 76% more likely to experience a hearing loss than those without osteoporosis. In addition, those with more severe osteoporosis were more likely than those with mild cases to experience a hearing loss.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, which means “brittle bones,” occurs most commonly in post-menopausal women, though it does occur in men as well. Hormonal changes lead to a loss of bone density, which causes the bones to become fragile and to break more easily. Even a small fall can lead to broken bones for individuals with osteoporosis, as can forceful coughing or even bending over in rarer cases.

Dr. Tien’s study seems to indicate that factors such as inflammation and bone demineralization play a role in the connection between osteoporosis and sudden hearing loss.

Though researchers have learned from the study, it is not yet fully conclusive whether or not early detection and treatment of osteoporosis can reduce the risk of hearing loss.

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