Approximately 37 million U.S. adults have chronic kidney disease (CKD), with many unaware that they have it until it reaches an advanced stage.1
People with CKD are at a greater risk of developing other health issues, including hearing loss, than those without CKD. Evidence shows that approximately 54% of individuals with moderate CKD also have some degree of hearing loss, while only 28% of those without CKD have hearing loss.2
A gradual loss of kidney function over time is known as chronic kidney disease. The kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste. When they stop working, waste can build up in an individual’s blood and make them sick.
Chronic kidney disease can develop slowly over time and can be caused by other disorders, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. If left untreated, CKD can lead to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.
What’s the Connection?
The relationship between CKD and hearing loss may be due to several factors:
- There are similarities in the structure and function of the ears and the kidneys. If something is harming one of these organs, it’s likely affecting the other since their structure and function are similar.
- The toxins that accumulate in the body during kidney failure may also damage the nerves in the inner ear, leading to hearing loss.
- CKD and hearing loss share common risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and advanced age.
- Certain medications used to treat CKD are ototoxic and can affect hearing.
Much like CKD, hearing loss is best treated when caught early. If you have chronic kidney disease or hearing concerns in general, contact Hearing Focused at (262) 679–8888 to schedule a hearing checkup. We offer thorough audiological testing, new hearing aids, custom ear protection and counseling for total patient satisfaction.
1 CDC. (2021). Chronic kidney disease in the United States, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/publications-resources/ckd-national-facts.html?utm_source=hearingtracker.com
2 Vilayur, E. (2010). The association between reduced GFR and hearing loss: a cross-sectional population-based study. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20673695/