Hearing Health Blog

Man talking with healthcare provider about his diabetes and hearing loss.

Your body is a lot like an ecosystem. In nature, if something happens to the pond, all of the birds and fish suffer the consequences; and when the birds go away so too do all of the plants and animals that rely on those birds. The human body, often unbeknownst to us, operates on very comparable methods of interconnection. That’s why a wide variety of diseases can be linked to something which at first seems so isolated like hearing loss.

This is, in a way, proof of the interdependence of your body and it’s similarity to an ecosystem. When something affects your hearing, it might also impact your brain. These situations are called comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) name that illustrates a connection between two disorders while not necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect relationship.

We can learn a lot concerning our bodies’ ecosystem by comprehending ailments that are comorbid with hearing loss.

Diseases Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s assume that you’ve been recognizing the signs of hearing loss for the past couple of months. It’s more difficult to follow along with conversations in restaurants. The volume of your television is constantly getting louder. And some sounds sound so far away. At this point, most people will make an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the smart thing to do, actually).

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your hearing loss is connected to several other health conditions. Some of the health ailments that have reported comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Depression: social separation associated with hearing loss can cause a whole host of concerns, many of which relate to your mental health. So depression and anxiety, not surprisingly, have been found in several studies, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
  • Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can wreak havoc with your entire body’s nervous system (especially in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are especially likely to be damaged. Hearing loss can be entirely caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be multiplied because diabetes related nerve damage can make you more prone to hearing loss caused by other factors.
  • Vertigo and falls: your primary tool for balance is your inner ear. There are some forms of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, resulting in dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you get older, falls will become increasingly dangerous.
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been connected to a higher chance of dementia, though it’s not clear what the root cause is. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease aren’t necessarily connected. In other cases, cardiovascular problems can make you more subject to hearing loss. That’s because one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear. Your hearing may suffer as a result of the of that trauma.

Is There Anything That Can be Done?

It can seem a little intimidating when all those health conditions get added together. But it’s worthwhile to remember one thing: tremendous positive affect can be gained by managing your hearing loss. Scientists and researchers recognize that if hearing loss is treated, the risk of dementia substantially lowers even though they don’t really understand precisely why dementia and hearing loss manifest together in the first place.

So the best course of action, regardless of what comorbid condition you might be concerned about, is to have your hearing examined.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s the reason why more medical professionals are looking at hearing health with fresh eyes. Instead of being a somewhat limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are seen as intimately linked to your general wellness. We’re beginning to consider the body as an interrelated environment in other words. Hearing loss doesn’t always develop in isolation. So it’s more significant than ever that we pay attention to the entirety, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.

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