Hearing Loss and Kidney Disease: What's the Link?

Written by the Nano Hearing Aids Team
Reviewed for Accuracy by Lindsay Roberts, AuD.

Lindsay Roberts
Hearing Loss and Kidney Disease: What's the Link Between?

Anyone can start suffering from hearing loss problems at any point in their life. When someone suffers from hearing loss of any sort, it affects their usual way of life, as they face troubles in communicating with others and in all tasks that require their hearing ability. Hearing loss can occur due to many different reasons. Among them, as surprising as it sounds, hearing loss can also occur due to kidney disease. 

Based on the reports of the American Journal of Kidney Disease, older Americans who suffer from CKD (chronic kidney disease) are more likely to fall victim to hearing loss problems than those who have perfectly healthy kidneys. Around 36 million people in the US are known to be suffering from chronic kidney disease, so all of them are at serious risk of hearing loss. 

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between hearing loss and kidney disease. 

Kidney Disease

Overview of Kidney Disease

CKD or Chronic Kidney Disease gradually causes damage to the kidney of a person, which eventually leads to kidney failure. Symptoms of this condition appear slowly, for which many people fail to get diagnosed with it early. This is why many people fail to get proper diagnosis at the appropriate time. If someone fails to detect this problem during earlier stages of it, they tend to be at a higher risk of developing more complications because of decreased kidney function. 

Our kidneys are in charge of filtering the toxic substances and wastes out of our bodies. If the kidneys are not properly functional, the condition can get really worse over time. Chronic Kidney Disease can often occur due to other conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. 

The Connection Between Ears and Kidneys

Kidneys have a deep connection with the ears, which results in the link between chronic kidney disease and hearing loss problems. The kidneys share ultrastructural, antigenic, and physiologic connection with the inner ear or the cochlea's stria vascularis. The inner part of our ears shares structural and functional characteristics with the kidneys, which might sound unreal to you. But several pieces of research have confirmed that both the ears and kidneys have certain physiological functions of fluid and electrolyte balance in common. This is an important factor, as it means that if any health condition affects one of them, it’s highly likely to affect the other one too. 

That’s why when suffering from CKD, it can affect their hearing, and cause hearing loss problems. Also, people that are suffering from certain kinds of hearing loss problems can also face problems with their kidneys too. Multiple pieces of research have confirmed the correlation between these specific health conditions. According to a study, around 54.4% of CKD patients had hearing loss problems of some sort.

Hearing loss can be hastened by having high blood pressure. To discover more about the relationship between hearing loss and high blood pressure, read our article in detail.

Hearing Loss and Kidney Disease

The Link Between Hearing Loss and Kidney Disease

We have talked about how your ears are connected with your kidneys. Now let’s see how kidney disease can affect your hearing too, and cause hearing loss problems. 

If someone is suffering from kidney failure, the toxins that get accumulated in their body can damage the hearing nerves in their inner ear and can cause hearing loss problems. Also, certain medications that are used to treat kidney conditions are ototoxic, and they can adversely affect your hearing. 

Also, chronic kidney disease and hearing loss share some of the same risk factors, such as:

  • Diabetes, as this condition, can affect both the kidneys and the ears.
  • High blood pressure, as it causes extra strain on the kidneys and the heart.
  • Old age, as older people have higher risk of suffering from these issues.
  • Specific medications can have side effects that can have an impact on your hearing and/or the kidneys.

What Can You Do to Avoid Risks?

If you are suffering from hearing loss problems, it’s important that you ask your audiologist if it’s linked to any risk factors that can cause problems in your kidneys too. IIn a similar way, if you are suffering from kidney problems, make sure to get your hearing evaluated by a hearing care professional to determine if you are at risk for hearing loss.

There are some things you can do to keep your kidneys and hearing system healthy and to decrease the risk of your suffering from hearing or kidney conditions. If you engage in these healthy habits, your exposure to the medications and complications that are associated with hearing loss problems and CKD will be limited. These activities are:

Quit Smoking

Smoking can reduce the blood flow to the organs of your body and increase the risk of ear and kidney problems. Make sure to stop smoking to avoid these complications. 

Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control

If you have high blood pressure, it can harden and/or weaken the blood vessels of your ears and kidneys, and impede their functionality. So, make sure to keep your blood pressure in check.

Eating Healthy

It’s best if you can have a healthy diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in added sugars and saturated fats. 

Exercising Regularly

It’s important to exercise on a regular basis to keep yourself healthy. It will help you keep your blood pressure in check, keep you away from ear and kidney problems, and many other health conditions too. 

Doctors recommend about 75 minutes of intense aerobic exercises every week. This does not have to be in one go. You can divide up that time according to your individual lifestyle and schedule. 

Avoiding Ototoxic Medications

Ototoxic medications have side effects that can affect your hearing, so make sure to avoid taking them for kidney-related problems.

Nano Hearing Aids

We have been able to establish that there is a strong correlation between kidney diseases and hearing loss. Also, we have mentioned that hearing loss will get progressively worse if it goes untreated. This is why we highly recommend hearing aids and particularly, Nano Hearing Aids.

Nano Hearing Aids are able to provide top of the line hearing aid devices at only a fraction of the price of other hearing aids. They have been able to do this because of their business model which completely cuts out the middleman. The customer interacts directly with Nano to significantly reduce the cost of their devices. 

Nano has several premium quality hearing aids like the Nano Sigma, Nano RX2000, and some other really impressive devices as well. They also have different types of hearing aids. So, you can rest assured that any type of hearing assistance you may need, you can get it from Nano Hearing Aids. 


Final Words

Human bodies are absolute wonders, and each and every organ is connected to the others in some way. In the same manner, the ears and kidneys are connected too, and if you face problems in one of them, it’s highly likely that you’ll face problems in the other. If you start facing problems in your kidneys, it’s important that you see an audiologist and check for any potential hearing problems. 

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