Hearing Loss Related to Deficits in Iron

Hearing Loss Related to Deficits in Iron

It is widely known that prolonged exposure to loud noises can result in hearing loss. However, there appear to be other, lesser known causes that result in hearing loss. In fact, almost 20% of people in the United States suffer from hearing loss, many of whom are unaware of how their hearing loss came about. A recent study conducted in 2016 suggests that hearing loss can be related to a lack of iron in the body.

Iron is an important mineral required for your daily health and can be found in several sources in your daily diet. It is a vital nutrient which aids in the transport of red blood cells (that contain oxygen) around your body. Those who engage in high levels of exercise are encouraged to consume more iron, which can be found in dietary supplements.

Deficiency in iron can result in anemia which results in decreased ability of red blood cells to transport oxygen from the lungs to the entire body. This can result in fatigue and weakness, symptoms of which include dizziness, lack of concentration, respiratory difficulties, and even loss of body weight.

There are several natural sources of iron that can be incorporated into your daily diet. These include meat, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, beans, and seafood.

A recent study conducted at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in 2016 assessed 300,000 adults. The study found that those suffering from iron deficits had twice the chances of having hearing damage.

Researcher Kathleen Schieffer who conducted the above study found that a decreased supply of iron levels in the blood can result in Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL). This type of hearing loss results due to damage caused within the inner ear, and results in 200,000 fresh cases of hearing loss each year in the United States.

People may wonder how deficits in iron can cause hearing loss. The key lies in the oxygen, which is vital for the sensitive hair follicles within the inner ear to transfer sound impulses towards your brain. Lack of oxygen that results from iron deficiency means less oxygen being supplied to your ears. Loss of oxygen to the inner ears results in deterioration or even death of the fragile hair cells, leading to interference in the transmission of sound signals to the brain, ultimately causing hearing loss.

You can ask your medical practitioner to prescribe daily iron supplements to help keep your iron level at the required amount, thereby reducing the chances of developing hearing damage. A simple blood test can help determine what your current iron level is, thus your doctor will be able to conduct this test and prescribe the appropriate amount of iron required for your specific needs. It is important to note that too much iron in the blood can also lead to problems, thus do not self-medicate. If you feel that you might have developed SNHL, make sure you get your hearing tested. Iron supplements can only be used as a preventative method not a curative one, since there is no cure for hearing loss. Luckily, hearing loss can easily be remedied using hearing aids.