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

Your body and an ecosystem are similar in some ways. In nature, if something happens to the pond, all of the birds and fish are impacted as well; and when the birds disappear so too do all of the animals and plants that rely on those birds. We may not recognize it but our body functions on very comparable principals. That’s why a wide variety of conditions can be linked to something that at first appears so isolated like hearing loss.

In a sense, that’s just more evidence of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. When something affects your hearing, it might also impact your brain. These conditions are called comorbid, a name that is specialized and signifies when two ailments have an affect on each other but don’t necessarily have a cause and effect relationship.

The disorders that are comorbid with hearing loss can tell us a lot regarding our bodies’ ecosystems.

Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Related to it

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the signs of hearing loss for the past several months. It’s been challenging to follow conversations in restaurants. The volume of your television is constantly getting louder. And some sounds just seem a bit more distant. When this is the situation, most people will make an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the practical thing to do, actually).

Your hearing loss is linked to a number of health conditions whether your aware of it or not. Some of the health problems that have documented comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Cardiovascular disease: occasionally hearing loss doesn’t have anything to connect it with cardiovascular disease. But sometimes hearing loss can be worsened by cardiovascular disease. That’s because one of the initial symptoms of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear. As that trauma escalates, your hearing might suffer as a result.
  • Depression: social isolation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole range of problems, many of which are related to your mental health. So anxiety and depression, not surprisingly, have been shown in study after study, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
  • Diabetes: additionally, your whole nervous system can be influenced in a negative way by diabetes (particularly in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be damaged are the nerves in the ear. This damage can cause hearing loss by itself. But your symptoms can be compounded because diabetes related nerve damage can make you more prone to hearing loss from other factors.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your main tool for balance. There are some types of hearing loss that can play 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 can become significantly more dangerous.
  • Dementia: a higher risk of dementia has been connected to hearing loss, although the underlying cause of that relationship is not clear. Research shows that wearing a hearing aid can help impede cognitive decline and decrease a lot of these dementia risks.

Is There Anything That You Can do?

When you stack all of those connected health conditions on top of each other, it can seem a little scary. But one thing should be kept in mind: tremendous positive impact can be gained by treating your hearing loss. Though researchers and scientists don’t exactly know, for example, why dementia and hearing loss so often show up together, they do know that treating hearing loss can significantly lower your dementia risks.

So regardless of what your comorbid condition might be, the best way to go is to have your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s the reason why more medical professionals are viewing hearing health with fresh eyes. Instead of being a rather limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are seen as closely linked to your general wellbeing. In a nutshell, we’re starting to perceive the body more like an interconnected environment. Hearing loss doesn’t always happen in isolation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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