Hearing Loss and Osteoporosis- a wake-up call?

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Hearing Loss and Osteoporosis- a wake-up call?

Author:Mrs Helen Riddell, Lecturer, Division of Nursing, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh EH21 6UU.

Date: 17thApril 2017


Recently I was talking with an elderly relative who raised the subject of her hearing loss. This had been particularly swift and profound in one of her ears, and her hearing aid was no longer effective.  She had experienced a long history of osteoporosis, leading to a number of fractures over the last two decades, and a marked loss in height due to vertebral deterioration.

This led me to speculate whether there was an association between osteoporosis and hearing loss.  I reasoned that as the conductive apparatus for sound transmission consisted (in part) of three very small connected bones (ossicles) in the middle ear , then their density might also be reduced through osteoporosis, leading to poor conduction or even dislocation, with consequent hearing impairment.

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