Menopause, a natural part of aging, can usher a lot of changes into a woman’s life. In addition to causing hot flashes and mood changes, some researchers think this shift in hormone levels may lead to hearing loss.
Hormone Therapy’s Link to Hearing Loss
To deal with the symptoms of menopause, many women opt for hormone therapy. In a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers enrolled 109 postmenopausal women. A total of 20 women were using estrogen therapy, 30 women were using hormone therapy and 59 were not receiving any type of therapy; these women were the control group.
Each participant underwent a hearing test along with a review of their age, body mass index and time since menopause onset.
The researchers found that estrogen therapy may slow down hearing loss in postmenopausal women. It is important to note that because this study was small, additional research is needed in order to draw any conclusions.
To further complicate this subject, a study of more than 80,000 women determined that older age at menopause onset and longer duration of postmenopausal hormone therapy are associated with a higher risk of hearing loss. The researchers looked at data from these women over a 22-year period. They found that five to 10 years of hormone therapy can increase a women’s risk of developing hearing loss by 15% when compared to women who opted not to take hormones.
Estrogen and Hearing Loss
A drop in estrogen can make you want to take a running leap into Yellow Smoke Park Lake. In addition to causing hot flashes, estrogen plays an important role in your body. There are estrogen receptors in your ear cells and auditory pathways, which may be a reason why menopause and hearing loss are linked.
Experts also suspect that low estrogen levels can limit blood flow to the cochlea, which can impair hearing.
To learn more about the connection between menopause and hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact Hearing Health Centers today.