Because hearing loss is so prevalent among older individuals, researchers have sought to find factors that will help identify those at increased risk. This research has recently yielded the finding that “sudden sensorineural hearing loss” (SSHL), during which hearing is severely reduced over a three-day period, is linked with “iron deficiency anemia” (IDA). This common condition is caused by a lack of iron in the body, which leads to fewer red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. As a result, IDA reduces the amount of oxygen to tissues. While the exact mechanism by which anemia leads to hearing loss is unknown, IDA is easy to treat. This correlation may prompt new ways to diagnose and treat SSHL. Sudden deafness usually occurs in one ear, and a medical evaluation along with a hearing evaluation by an Audiologist should happen within 24 hours for appropriate treatment.
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