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It’s Thyroid Awareness Month and we want you to be in the know. Maybe you are already aware of the effects thyroid disease, which affects the thyroid gland, can have on weight and energy levels. But did you know it is linked to hearing loss too?

An estimated 20 million Americans have some sort of thyroid problem, but as many as 60% of those affected have no idea of their condition. This is often because the symptoms of thyroid disease are varied and easily confused with other health issues. Why? Because the thyroid gland is involved in so many bodily processes.

Your thyroid gland produces two main hormones that are vital for your metabolism, digestion, bone health, heart function, energy levels and mood. When your thyroid gland isn’t working properly, all of these different aspects of your wellbeing can be affected. So what should you look out for?

 

Symptoms to spot

Hyperthyroidism

This is when too much of the hormone thyroxine is produced by the thyroid gland. Symptoms can include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Irregular heart beat
  • High blood pressure
  • Brittle hair or hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss

Hypothyroidism

This is when not enough thyroxine is produced by the thyroid gland. Symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Digestive upset such as bloating
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Depression

 

The hearing connection

Whether thyroid disease results in too much or little hormone production, hearing ability can be affected, which can present as hearing loss or tinnitus. Researchers are still looking into why this happens but the link between hearing loss and certain thyroid disorders, including Pendred syndrome, Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s disease, is now undeniable.

 

What can you do about thyroid disease?

Awareness is the first step. Find out if you have any family history of thyroid disease and be vigilant about symptoms of thyroid disease. If you are concerned, contact your doctor as soon as possible. A few tests can determine whether or not you have thyroid disease and if the results are positive you can get the treatment you need, which may involve medication.

Remember, if you think you have thyroid disease or you have already been diagnosed, it is important to keep a close eye on your hearing health too. The best way to do that is with the professional care of an Audiologist.

Selective Hearing are a leading audiology specialist serving the residents of Acadiana and are here to help with your hearing care, so call us now on 337-291-9939 to book your hearing test appointment.

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Ashley Thom

Ashley Thom

An Abbeville, Louisiana native, Dr. Thom realized her love for speech, language, and hearing while taking a speech pathology class in her junior year at LSU. After completing a bachelor of arts in communications disorders, that love persisted, and Dr. Thom graduated in 2011 with a clinical doctorate in audiology from Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Thom continues to make sounds and language more accessible to her patients and likes to learn about their unique hearing and communication needs. An active member of the Louisiana Academy of Audiology, she has been serving as a board member for two years and was the 2016-17 president of LAA.