The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but if you listen carefully, your ears can reveal a lot about you as well. Pierced, tattooed, or simply freshly scrubbed, your ears can give hints as to your personality and passions. Your ears can also alert you to hidden medical conditions. Of course, your ears let you know if you are suffering a painful inner ear infection, a bout of swimmer’s ear, or an overabundance of wax production. However, there are other medical conditions, seemingly unrelated to the ears, that can be revealed by them. Check out these 12 conditions that your ears may alert you to.
12. Possible Increased Risk of Breast Cancer
The consistency of that pesky earwax may give you clues about your risk of breast cancer. A 2009 study by Japanese researchers suggested that those with wet earwax were more likely to have a genetic predisposition for breast cancer. The jury is still out on whether wet earwax is a valid diagnostic tool, and it may not apply to Caucasian women. However, if you have other risk factors for breast cancer, wet earwax can remind you to perform regular breast self-examinations and get routine mammograms. Risk factors include dense breast tissue, early menstruation, and a family history of breast cancer.
11. Increased Risk of Dementia
Losing your hearing is often seen as a difficult, yet normal, part of aging. However, recent studies suggest that loss of hearing may be linked to a deterioration in learning, comprehension, and memory. The AARP lists several reasons deafness may contribute to memory issues such as dementia. The stress of struggling to understand conversations may take a toll on brain function. Additionally, the brain may undergo physical changes when the parts of the brain associated with hearing are no longer in use. Finally, the feelings of isolation experienced by those unable to hear may contribute to a decline in mental functioning.