by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
For centuries, Chinese herbalists have proclaimed that your ears and your kidneys are “connected”. In other words, what affects your kidneys, also affects your ears (or maybe it is vice versa).
This is nothing new. What is new is that modern medical science is finally realizing just how true this is.
A recent study of 2,564 adults over 50 revealed that of those with moderate chronic kidney disease, 54% of them also had some degree of hearing loss in the four frequencies tested (500, 1,000, 2,000 and 4,000 HZ). (1) The scary thing is that 30% of those with moderate chronic kidney disease had severe hearing loss. (The comparable figures for those with no kidney problems were 28.3% and 10%.) (2)
Thus, you want to be careful to protect your kidneys from the effects of such problems as diabetes and hypertension—the two main causes of chronic kidney disease, and from drugs that are both nephrotoxic (kidney-damaging) and ototoxic (ear-damaging) drugs, if you truly value your hearing.
Remember, as your kidneys go, so (almost certainly) goes your hearing.
(1) American Journal of Kidney Diseases (2010;56:661-660) as reported in The Hearing Journal, October 13, 2010.
(2) Hearing Loss Associated with Moderate Chronic Kidney Disease in Older Adults. Medical News Today. October 2, 2010.