Medical Conditions That Can Cause Hearing Loss

Many of us associate hearing loss with aging. Age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, is one of the more common types of hearing loss in older adults. Hearing loss could also be caused by exposure to loud noise.

What you may not be aware of, is that certain diseases can also cause hearing loss. We discuss what these medical conditions are, how they can cause hearing loss, and what you can do to help protect your hearing.

Heart Disease

Coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, and high blood pressure are all types of heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with 1 in 4 deaths the result of heart disease. But how does this affect your hearing?

Your delicate inner ear relies on blood flow. When this blood flow is restricted, physiological changes are quickly exhibited. Reduced circulation or damage to blood vessels can both affect blood flow, which can impact your hearing. In some cases, poor circulation and lack of oxygenated blood to the delicate hair cells in the inner ear can cause permanent hearing loss.


A report published by the CDC found that as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the total population, have diabetes. 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2. Adults with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss compared to adults without diabetes. But why is this?

Research is showing that diabetes may contribute to hearing loss by damaging blood vessels or nerves. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels throughout the body, including the sensitive vessels in your inner ear. Just like with heart disease, damage to these delicate blood vessels can cause a hearing loss.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease which causes inflammation and pain in your joints. Over time, it can damage bones, cartilage and surrounding tissue. Estimates show that up to 75% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience hearing loss.

Although rheumatoid arthritis hasn’t necessarily been established as a causative factor of the hearing loss in patients, the initial findings are alarming. RA may affect the tiny bones, joints and cartilage within the ear, impacting hearing ability. A common treatment provided for RA are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which in some cases can cause a side effect of hearing loss.

Trust the Experts at Hearing Services of Delaware

If you are experiencing hearing loss, consider consulting with your local hearing healthcare professionals. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of certified hearing care professionals at Hearing Services of Delaware.

© 2024 Hearing Services of Delaware. All right reserved. | Privacy Policy

The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness and to determine if the consumer may benefit from using hearing aids, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Assessment conclusion is not a medical diagnosis and further testing may be required to diagnose hearing loss. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals.