Millions of Americans have some form of thyroid disease, with many not knowing they have the condition. Having thyroid disease can affect the way your body functions in numerous ways and can even play a role in hearing loss.
What Does Your Thyroid Do?
Your thyroid is a small gland located on the front of the neck that produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. It can affect things like heart rate and energy levels.
If something is wrong with your thyroid, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Weight fluctuation
- Chronic fatigue
- Heart palpitations
- Vision problems
- Mental fog
While anyone can have thyroid disease, it is more common in women than in men.
Thyroid Diseases Known to Affect Hearing
There are many different types of thyroid disease. A few, in particular, are known to affect hearing:
- Pendred Syndrome: A genetic disorder that causes early hearing loss in children. It can also lead to a swelling of the thyroid known as goiter.
- Grave’s Disease: A cause of hyperthyroidism, which is when your thyroid produces too much thyroxine hormone. Studies have shown that Grave’s disease is associated with a higher rate of high-frequency hearing loss.
- Hashimoto’s Disease. A common cause of hypothyroidism, which is when your thyroid produces too little thyroxine hormone.
It’s also possible that receiving radiation treatment for thyroid cancer could increase your risk of experiencing hearing loss.
If you are having symptoms that could be indicative of thyroid disease, make an appointment with your medical provider. By treating the problem, you lower the risk of hearing loss and other complications associated with the condition.
What to Do if You Experience Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is gradual and progressive. Many people go years with their condition left untreated before getting their hearing tested. If you’re concerned that thyroid disease has put you at a greater risk for hearing loss, be aware of some of the early signs:
- Family or friends have commented on your hearing.
- People seem to mumble, or you need them to repeat themselves often.
- You have trouble following conversations in groups, especially in places with background noise, like Monument Café.
- Telephone conversations are difficult to follow.
- Others comment on the volume when you listen to the TV or music.
If any of these sound familiar, contact Hill Country Audiology today and schedule an appointment for a hearing test.