In an 8 year study** it was discovered older adults (50+) with moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a higher prevalence of hearing loss than those of the same age without CKD. A recent study found that more than 50% of the adults in the study with moderate kidney disease had some degree of hearing loss, while almost 30% suffered a severe hearing loss.
- 15% of US adults—37 million people—are estimated to have CKD.*
- Most (9 in 10) adults with CKD do not know they have it.
- 1 in 2 people with very low kidney function who are not on dialysis do not know they have CKD.
While the study may not confirm a cause-and-effect relationship between CKD and hearing loss, it sends a clear message to primary-care physicians, urologists and nephrologists that it’s important for anyone with kidney disease to be given a formal hearing evaluation on a periodic basis.
The connection between the parallels in tissue of the kidney and the inner ear. Also, there are toxins that build-up in failing kidneys that can damage nerves including those in the ear. Also, some treatments for kidney ailments are ototoxic, which means toxic (harmful) to the hearing system.
“These findings could lead to a modification of the usual care of people with CKD,” said Dr. Kerry Willis, Senior Vice President of Scientific Activities at the National Kidney Foundation. “Earlier clinical hearing assessments and fitting of hearing aids in CKD patients can improve quality of life and lead to better management of underlying conditions which could, in turn, potentially preserve hearing function.”***
Be proactive and ask your doctor to order a formal hearing evaluation with a reputable audiology practice to have your hearing tracked while you are treating for kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension. Treatment for hearing loss is much more effective when treated early. If you have questions regarding your hearing and a possible kidney disease correlation contact your audiologist.