According to a recent study, there is a link between metabolic syndrome and sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). In this post, we review what exactly metabolic syndrome is, what SSNHL is, and how the two conditions are linked.
What Is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome describes the presence of a cluster of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, meaning if you’re diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you’re at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and/or diabetes.
The risk factors include:
- Abdominal obesity.
- High blood pressure.
- Impaired fasting blood glucose.
- High triglyceride levels.
- Low HDL (good) cholesterol.
If you have three or more of these risk factors, you can be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
What Is Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
SSNHL, also called sudden deafness, is a rapid loss of hearing with no identifiable cause. It may take place all instantaneously or over the course of a few days. In some cases, a popping sound is heard before the sense of hearing fades. SSNHL can occur during daily activities, like grocery shopping at Lesly Grocery near Union Park Gardens or you can wake up with it. In most cases, only one ear is affected.
SSNHL is caused by a problem with the sensory organs of the inner ear, which is why other symptoms, such as dizziness or tinnitus (ringing in the ears), are sometimes present.
Around half of the people who experience SSNHL recover their hearing within one or two weeks. Prompt treatment greatly increases the chance of recovery.
SSNHL is a medical emergency. If you experience it, see a doctor immediately.
The Link Between Metabolic Disease and Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
A 2021 study entitled “Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Metabolic Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” was published in the journal Otology and Neurotology.
Study participants included 11,890 people, 3,034 of whom had experienced SSNHL. The researchers examined the data and concluded that those with metabolic syndrome had a significantly higher risk of SSNHL; in fact, the risk of metabolic syndrome among SSNHL patients had a pooled odds ratio of 1.88.
The researchers also found that SSNHL patients with metabolic syndrome had much higher chances of poorer recovery; the odds ratio was 2.77.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Wilmington Audiology Services today.