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Could your hip implant be causing your hearing loss?

Over the years, researchers have discovered that metal hip implants can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance issues. Though the presence of any hearing loss may not be immediately apparent, after some wear or corrosion of the chrome or cobalt hip implants, individuals may experience damage in the auditory system.[i]

Let’s break it down

Now, even though the metal is localized in the hip, as time passes, small metal ions can travel into the blood stream from the hip implant and cause problems in other parts of the body, such as, the cardiovascular system, visual system, motor-sensory system, and the auditory system.[ii] As if that’s not enough, some patients have also reported issues with their psychological function and immune system.

At Longmont Hearing and Tinnitus Center, we take your overall health into consideration when you come in for a hearing evaluation. We take the time necessary to get a thorough health history before we even start your hearing evaluation. We believe it’s important to take all aspects of an individual’s lifestyle into consideration so we can get a more complete picture of what is truly going on. Did you know that hearing loss isn’t only caused by aging? It’s also been associated with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and ototoxic medications.

If you have a metal hip replacement, be proactive! It’s a great idea to get a baseline hearing evaluation. That way, if changes occur over time, they can be accurately tracked. Also, if you are experiencing any signs of hearing loss, like trouble hearing in noisy environments, asking for repetition often, or having trouble with the clarity of speech, don’t delay—get a hearing evaluation now! Early detection and intervention for hearing loss is key.

Take Charge

If you have a cobalt-chromium hip implant, educate yourself on the potential long term issues, and be sure to speak to your primary care doctor if you have any concerns. And of course, we’re audiologists who are here to help! If you have any questions about hearing loss or suspect that you may be suffering from hearing loss, do not hesitate to give us a call at 303-651-1178 to schedule an appointment.

Now that you know that hip implants can cause hearing loss, what can you do? While the not all patients with hip implants experience hearing loss, it is a possibility. The important takeaway is that you can be proactive and take steps to keep your hearing health in check. Reach out to us for anything, whether to make an appointment, to set up a hearing evaluation, or for help with your hearing aids.

[i] J. B. Leikin, H. C. Karydes, P. M. Whiteley, B. K. Wills, K. L. Cumpston & J. J. Jacobs (2013) Outpatient toxicology clinic experience of patients with hip implants, Clinical Toxicology, 51:4, 230-236.

[ii] Gessner, Bradford D. MD, MPH*; Steck, Thomas BS†; Woelber, Erik MSc†; Tower, Stephen S. MD‡ A Systematic Review of Systemic Cobaltism After Wear or Corrosion of Chrome-Cobalt Hip Implants, Journal of Patient Safety: June 2019 – Volume 15 – Issue 2 – p 97-104.

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