If you’ve been asking yourself can anemia cause hearing loss, you’re not alone. Many people who are anemic experience some level of hearing impairment and it has been going unanswered as to why. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine are taking a deeper look at how anemia and hearing loss are connected. To better understand just how anemia can affect hearing ability, you must understand what anemia is and how it is caused.
Amenia is a condition that causes fatigue and weakness due to low red blood cell or hemoglobin counts in the blood. People suffer from anemia for many different reasons, but one common factor is due to an iron deficiency. Iron helps your blood create hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen through the body and when your body doesn’t have enough iron, it can slow the production of hemoglobin. This lack of oxygen in the blood is exactly what researchers believe to be linked to hearing loss. The researchers at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine studied over 300,000 adults between the ages of 21 and 90 and found that 1.6% had hearing loss. However, when looking at just the anemic participants 3.4% suffered from hearing loss. This did not come as a big shock, as the ear is extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation. A large portion of participants suffered from either sensorineural hearing loss or conductive hearing loss and both can be due to damage to the ear and or nerve pathways that carry sounds to the brain. When the low hemoglobin blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen to the ear, it puts it at risk of suffering from one of these types of hearing impairments. The next part of the study will look at how iron supplements can improve hearing loss once a the person has treated their anemia.
For now researchers agree that treating your anemia may help prevent hearing loss.You can easily add iron rich foods to your diet by eating more beans, red meat, and spinach or you can try taking a pill supplement. Before adding a pill supplement, be sure to talk to your doctor. For any hearing loss questions or to develop a treatment plan for your hearing loss, you can contact the hearing specialists at Whisper Hearing.