Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time. Over 25 million American adults have this disease, with many more at risk of developing it. CKD, which can lead to kidney failure, is often a result of diabetes and high blood pressure. When waste builds to high levels in the blood, this can lead to anemia, high blood pressure, weak bones, and nerve damage. Interestingly, kidney disease and hearing loss may be intertwined, as a specific part of the ears shares functional and structural characteristics with the kidneys. Here are three things to know about CKD and hearing loss.
1. Research shows that fluid and electrolyte balance mechanisms are present in both organs, so while one disease doesn’t cause the other, if a health issue affects the functionality of one organ, it can affect the other. “A Kidney Foundation survey found that over half of those with moderate kidney disease have some hearing loss, and more than a third have a severe to profound hearing loss,” said Beth Wallace, Audiologist with Wallace Center For Hearing. “The relationship between moderate chronic kidney disease and hearing loss may be due to the similar makeup of tissues in the inner ear and kidneys. Nerves of the inner ear may also be damaged by toxins that accumulate during kidney failure.”
2. Shared risk factors for CKD and hearing loss include age, a diabetes diagnosis, a high blood pressure diagnosis, certain medications, a family history of CKD, and a diagnosis of either CKD or hearing loss, as the chances of having one are high for developing the other.
3. A hearing test should be included in the integrated management of patients with chronic kidney disease. For those at risk, patients should avoid medications that have ear-related side effects. It’s also important to quit smoking, control blood pressure, eat well, and exercise regularly.
For more information, please contact:
Wallace Center For Hearing, LLC
4127 Progress Blvd
Peru, IL 61354