Over the years, metal hip replacements have been found to cause hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance issues. Though issues may not occur shortly after the replacement, after some wear or corrosion of the chrome or cobalt, individuals may experience damage in the auditory system.[i]
Even though the metal is localized in the hip, over time, small metal ions can travel into the bloodstream and cause problems in other parts of the body, such as the cardiovascular system, visual system, motor-sensory system, and auditory system.[ii] In addition to these issues, some patients also have issues with their psychological function and immune system.
At Oro Valley Audiology, we take your overall health into account when you come in for a hearing evaluation. When you visit us, you will notice we take the time necessary to get a thorough health history before the hearing evaluation is completed. Did you know that hearing loss isn’t only caused by aging? Hearing loss has also been associated with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and ototoxic medications.
If you did have a metal hip replacement, it is a good idea to get a baseline hearing evaluation. That way, if changes do occur over time, they can be accurately tracked.
Also, if you are experiencing any signs of hearing loss, such as trouble hearing in noisy environments, asking for repetition, or having trouble with the clarity of speech, it is important to get a hearing evaluation. Early detection and intervention for hearing loss are key.
If you did have a cobalt-chromium hip implant, be aware of the potential long-term issues and speak to your primary care doctor if you have any concerns. If you have any questions about hearing loss or suspect that you may have a hearing loss, do not hesitate to give us a call at 520-825-4770 to schedule an appointment.
[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