Of the many risk factors and influencers of your hearing health, your thyroid plays an important role in metabolism, heart rate, and your nervous system as well as your hearing. When you suffer from thyroid disease, your hearing may be affected as well. Symptoms of thyroid disease are often confused as other conditions, as they share many similarities with more readily recognizable syndromes. Knowing about what symptoms you may experience along with hearing loss can make a difference in finding the right treatment plan, whether to address the thyroid, your hearing or both.
What is the Thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland that straddles your esophagus that sits below the Adam’s apple in your neck. It signals different parts of your body to perform certain tasks, such as breaking down energy, storing fat, and keeping your breathing rate regular through the use of hormones. In this way, it contributes to your overall metabolism, weight, and nervous systems, to name a few of its roles.
Types of Thyroid Conditions
There are many thyroid disorders that affect people, by some estimates, up to 20 million Americans, or about 7% of the population. This makes it a common but often un- or mis-diagnosed condition due to its similarities of other conditions.
Common thyroid conditions include hypo- and hyperthyroidism, conditions that describe when your thyroid produces too little or too many hormones, respectively. Goiter is another thyroid condition where the glad physically swells, resulting in difficulty breathing or swallowing. The thyroid can be affected by cancer, but this is a rare condition. Finally, thyroiditis describes inflammation of the thyroid, which can result in no symptoms at all.
Thyroid and Hearing Health
Up to half of those suffering from thyroid conditions are also experiencing hearing loss. Thyroid conditions typically affect the whole body, with effects like reduced blood flow or a slowdown of organ function in the brain, heart, or even ears, having radiating consequences throughout the body.
People with thyroid conditions frequently experience tinnitus, vertigo, or hearing loss due to these changes, with or without experiencing other symptoms that may be more indicative of thyroid disorders. These symptoms can all be related to a change in the way the inner ear is able to process sound and information like balance, which could lead to a misdiagnosis of a hearing condition, rather than a thyroid disorder.
This is why when you experience any change in your hearing ability or vestibular sense (balance), it’s important to see a medical professional like our Doctors of Audiology, who can conduct an array of hearing examinations to locate the source, type, and treatment for your hearing loss.
Comprehensive Hearing Testing in New Jersey
At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey our proprietary H.E.A.R. Method™ Treatment Program, which goes far beyond the standard playbook for prescribing a hearing aid. When you come in for a hearing test, we tailor our approach to each individual, their symptoms, and their lifestyle to determine the most effective path forward. Call our office or contact us online to start your hearing loss treatment plan today.