What's the connection?
Your hearing health is intertwined with the health of several other systems in your body. Knowing these connections can help you better understand your overall health and hearing-related symptoms associated with various diseases. The thyroid is an important organ in our bodies that affects many other functions, including our hearing.
Your thyroid is a gland that sits below your Adam’s apple, along the front of your windpipe. It’s butterfly-shaped and when it’s its normal size you can’t feel it. The thyroid releases hormones that control metabolism, or the way your body uses its energy. These hormones regulate vital body functions, including breathing, heart rate, central and peripheral nervous systems, body weight and many others.
It’s estimated that nearly 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid disease. Interestingly, almost 60% of these people are unaware of their condition because the symptoms are often confused with other health problems, such as hypothyroidism and hearing loss. Some of the most common thyroid conditions include:
Those who suffer from hypothyroidism may see an effect on their hearing health. In fact, nearly half of the people with low thyroid function have some degree of hearing loss. Hypothyroidism and hearing loss are connected because without enough thyroid hormone to regulate metabolism, many of the body’s functions slow down. This impacts nearly every part of the body, including the heart, brain and your ears. It’s also common to experience tinnitus and/or vertigo if you suffer from hypothyroidism.
If you’ve been noticing systemic health issues that don’t seem to have an explanation, you may want to speak with your doctor about the possibility of thyroid disease. And as always, if your hearing seems to be getting worse, schedule some time with your hearing care professional to talk thorough treatment options and solutions.