T3 and T4 are pretty amazing. They are the two hormones produced by your thyroid gland. They regulate your metabolism and are essential for a healthy body, affecting functions as vital as the beating of your heart and your energy levels. When your thyroid gland, which sits below your voice box, isn’t working well, you will definitely feel the consequences. Here at Scottsdale Ears, Nose and Throat, we pride ourselves on being the experts in these regions, and the thyroid plays a pretty major part in this.

 

Spotting the symptoms of thyroid disease

Given how important your thyroid gland is for the proper function of so many of your body’s cells, it isn’t surprising that the symptoms of thyroid disease are quite varied. These symptoms also depend on whether your thyroid is producing too little of those hormones we mentioned earlier (which is what happens in hypothyroidism) or too much (which is was happens in hyperthyroidism).

Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of different thyroid diseases:

Hypothyroidism – unexplained weight gain, persistent tiredness, depression and forgetfulness

Hyperthyroidism – unexplained weight loss, irritability, anxiousness, trouble sleeping, muscle weakness and vision problems

Goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland) – difficulty swallowing and breathing.

 

But what about hearing loss?

Hearing loss is also a symptom of certain thyroid diseases. Researchers still don’t know why it happens but there is a clear link between the thyroid diseases Hashimoto’s disease, Grave’s disease and Pendred Syndrome, and hearing loss.

Hearing loss also occurs after treatment for thyroid cancer and here we know it is because of the radiation and/or anti-cancer drugs damaging cells in your ears that you need for hearing.

Can you do anything to look after your thyroid?

The short answer is yes. If you have a thyroid disease you will need to get treatment from a doctor but even if you don’t have a thyroid disease, it is important to look after your health, which includes looking after your thyroid gland. Eating healthy foods rich in antioxidants, such as tomatoes and blueberries, as well as getting regular exercise will help keep your thyroid gland in good shape.

 

What to do if you’re worried about your thyroid

If any of the symptoms we’ve mentioned sound all too familiar, then contact your doctor. You can get your thyroid levels tested to see whether your levels are too high or too low.

If hearing loss is one of those worrying symptoms you are experiencing then it is well worth contacting one of our highly trained Audiologists in Scottsdale at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat. All you need to do is call us on 480-684-1080 and we’ll get to the bottom of what is causing your hearing loss.

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Dr. Cheryl A. MacKechnie, MD

Dr. Cheryl A. MacKechnie is board certified in otolaryngology and treats a broad range of ear, nose, and throat conditions. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, she completed her residency in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
    You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again – Regina’s Story

    Regina has suffered from hearing problems since she was an infant, recognized as regular chronic ear infections. And, as with unfortunate events, she has experienced a multitude of audiology catastrophes.

    It was many years before Regina crossed paths with Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat; where her lifetime of hearing problems was addressed effectively and treated with the delicate care that she desperately required.

    Regina’s journey began when she was taken to a regular paediatrician by her mother from a young age. Her ears were, what we describe as an audiologists recipe for disaster, ‘flushed out’.

    This dangerous procedure caused a nasty infection, which spread to her mastoid bone and, at the age of 15, she underwent a tympanoplasty mastoidectomy to stop the infection spreading. This only forbade her future struggles with hearing loss. 

    As with poor diagnosis, Regina was faced with another canaloplasty which didn’t work. Soon after, she received a BAHA, which is a cochlear implant in her skull that acts as a sound processor that detects sound and transforms it into vibrations. 

    However, suffering from a history of poor hearing care, she was unaware of the former issues her ear presented.

    By now, this would be described as any audiologists nightmare. But, we’re proud to have helped Regina on her road to optimum hearing and reconnect her to her loved ones.

    When she arrived at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat it was evident that she was losing hearing on her right side. At this point, she was fitted with a ReSound hearing device, which provided the catalyst to a new and improved hearing.

    The first thing Regina noticed was the indefinite sound she had been making whilst emptying the dishwasher, completely unaware of the noise she was making!

    “I mean, the detail that I can hear now it’s like, Whoa, I didn’t realize I was making that much noise. I need to be quieter!”

    Treated with professional care, Regina received a comprehensive hearing assessment with Dr. Debra Hamila.

    “I just love, love, love Dr. Hamila, she is such a professional and loving person. I was so impressed with the office and what she did with the ReSound, I just love her.”

    Like many others, it takes years for people to realize they have a hearing problem. Regina described this moment as life-changing.

    “You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again. Especially now I’m a full-time Grammy Nanny, I can hear so much more and it has enriched my life incredibly.”

    What advice would you give to someone who is deliberating on taking the first step towards better hearing?

    “My advice to them would be to have a hearing test. Especially as we age our hearing goes down. It’s really unfortunate that people carry their pride and are not willing to learn to walk with the rock in their shoe. You don’t realise you’re waking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again.”

    Regina is one of many patients who has been impacted by our audiological services and we are proud to have been able to provide the tool towards better hearing and a lifetime of many more memories.