(Mirror Daily, United States) – An iron deficiency has been linked to potential hearing loss problems according to a new research carried out by scientists.
Iron deficiency is considered as one, if not the most common nutritional deficiencies. All the human body cells contain iron. As such, it has several vital functions.
As a hemoglobin key protein, it helps carry oxygen to lung tissues. It is also an integral part of the enzyme reactions being carried out in various tissues. And these are just some of its key functions.
An untreated iron deficiency may have various effects. It may, for example, lead to anemia. This specific type is called IDA. IDA is an iron deficiency anemia. As it is, a new study has also potentially linked it to another problem.
A team of Pennsylvania State University took to studying the issue. They were led by Kathleen Schieffer. She is a doctoral student at the University’s College of Medicine. A study on the matter was released. It was published in the JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.
According to Schieffer, an iron deficit may be linked to hearing loss problems. More exactly, IDA could potentially be connected to sensorineural hearing loss issues.
SNHL or sensorineural hearing loss is a type of deafness or hearing loss. Its roots may lie in different parts. One is a neural part of the ear. Another is the sensory organ or the inner ear.
Other affected parts may be the vestibulocochlear nerve. SNHL is reportedly detected in about 90 percent of the hearing loss cases.
The current study involved about 30,000 people. All were adults aged in between 21 and 90 years old. The average age was established as being around 50 years old.
All the people involved had both hearing problems and anemia. Study participants were divided into three categories. This was done in accordance with their hearing problems.
As such, a first category included people suffering from SNHL. A second category included conductive hearing loss sufferers. In such cases, sounds fail to travel properly through the ear.
The third category was composed of people suffering from both of the aforementioned issues. According to the researchers, patients with anemia were twice as likely to also suffer from SHNL.
As it is, treating IDA may potentially improve the hearing loss problem outcomes. The aforementioned lead, Schieffer, went to offer details. According to reports, she pointed out the potential association between hearing loss and IDA.
However, more studies will be needed. These could help prove the connection, and help determine its exact effects or causes. A cause-effect relation has yet to be definitely established.
Still, further research could determine the following. It could help scientists better understand the correlation between the two health issues.
Research could also establish the potential effects of an early detection and treatment of IDA. More specifically, it could determine its relation to the overall health of hearing loss affected patients.
The current study did have its limitations. According to the lead, these included other hearing loss factors. High blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking have also been linked to such an issue.
As it is, further research is definitely needed in order to verify and further develop the recent find.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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