The Science of Healthy Hearing Podcast

Hearing and your Health

In this episode, Dr Rob Eikelboom helps us understand that hearing is part of the whole body, how it is connected to many aspects of health and illness, and how illness or injury can affect hearing or vice versa.

In this episode, you will learn

How hearing is related to your overall health

The association between hearing loss and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental well-being and tinnitus

How research can help you to better manage your hearing and overall health

What research is currently being done to understand the connection between hearing loss and other health conditions 

How allied health professionals can better support people who are managing illnesses or injuries that affect their hearing 

Dr Rob Eikelboom, Research Manager at Ear Science Institute Australia

Dr Rob Eikelboom is the Research Manager at Ear Science Institute Australia. Rob is is the Deputy Director of Ear Science WHO Collaborating Centre for Ear and Hearing Care, and is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Busselton Population Medical Research Institute. He also has adjunct appointments at The University of Western Australia; University of Pretoria, South Africa; and Curtin University, Perth.

Dr Eikelboom’s research at Ear Science Institute Australia since 2001 has focused on improving clinical practice, be it using telehealth, being better able to predict outcomes after hearing aids or hearing implants, or using epidemiology to understand the risks for hearing loss. He has published over 225 research papers and 12 book chapters and is closely involving the supervision and mentorship of postgraduate students.

Episode Resources

Lions Healthy Hearing Man downloadable pdf

People younger than 60 years with diabetes and pre-diabetes are at higher risk of hearing loss”. | Sommer J, et al. A population-based study of the association between dysglycemia and hearing loss in middle age. Diabetic Medicine. 2017;34(5): 683-690.

Cognitive decline | Lin FR, et al., Hearing loss and cognitive decline in older adults. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2013;173(4):293-299.

Tinnitus | Shargorodsky J, et al. Prevalence and characteristics of tinnitus among US adults. The American Journal of Medicine. 2010;123:711-718.

Mental Health | Lawrence BJ, et al. Hearing loss and depression in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Gerontologist. 2020;60(3):e137-154.

Heart Health | Tan HE, et al. Associations between cardiovascular disease and its risk factors with hearing loss—A cross-sectional analysis. Clinical Otolaryngology. 2018; 43(1):172-181.

Isolation | Mick P, et al. The association between hearing loss and social isolation in older adults. Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. 2014;150(3):378-384.

Safety and Balance | Jiam NT-L et al. Hearing loss and fall: A systematic review and meta analysis. The Laryngoscope. 2016;126(11):2587-2596.

Injury Matters Stay on Your Feet | Falls prevention program

2022 WA Falls Report 

Busselton Population Medical Research Institute

Busselton Health Study | BPMRI

Season 1 | The Social and Emotional Impacts of Hearing Loss

Season 1 |  Changing How We Age: Hearing loss & Dementia

Lions Hearing Clinic LIVE WELL Range

The vital role of GPs to incorporate hearing healthcare into primary care

Eye health | Vreeken HL et al. Dual sensory loss: A major age related increase of comorbid hearing loss and hearing aid ownership in visually impaired adults. Geriatrics and Gerontology International. 2014;14(3):579-576.

Smoking | Cruickshanks KJ, et al. Cigarette smoking and hearing loss: the Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1998;279(21):1715-1719.

Ototoxicity | Lee CA, et al. Otologic side effects of drugs. The Journal of Laryngology & Otology. 2005;119(4):267-271.

Osteoporosis | Upalaab S, Rattanawong P, Vutthikraivit W, Sanguankeo A. Significant association between osteoporosis and hearing loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology. 2017; 83(6):646-652.

Obesity | Dhanda N, Taheri S. A narrative review of obesity and hearing loss. International Journal of Obesity. 2017;41:1066-1073.

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