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 are impacted as well; and when the birds disappear so too do all of the plants and animals that depend on those birds. We might not realize it but our body operates on very comparable principals. That’s the reason why something that seems to be isolated, such as hearing loss, can be connected to a wide variety of other diseases and ailments.

This is, in a way, evidence of the interdependence of your body and it’s similarity to an ecosystem. When something affects your hearing, it may also impact your brain. We call these circumstances comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) name that illustrates a link between two conditions without necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect relationship.

The conditions that are comorbid with hearing loss can give us lots of information regarding our bodies’ ecosystems.

Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Connected to it

So, let’s assume that you’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past few months. You’ve been having a hard time hearing what people are saying when you go out for a bite. Your television’s volume is constantly getting louder. And certain sounds seem so far away. When this is the situation, the majority of people will schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the wise thing to do, actually).

Whether you recognize it or not, your hearing loss is linked to several other health issues. Some of the health problems that have reported comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Depression: social isolation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole host of concerns, some of which relate to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study confirms anxiety and depression have very high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Dementia: a higher risk of dementia has been connected to hearing loss, though it’s not clear what the base cause is. Research suggests that wearing a hearing aid can help impede cognitive decline and lower a lot of these dementia risks.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your principal tool for balance. There are some forms of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, leading to dizziness and vertigo. Falls are progressively more dangerous as you get older and falls can occur whenever someone loses their balance
  • Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can wreak havoc with your overall body’s nervous system (specifically in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are especially likely to be affected. Hearing loss can be entirely caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be multiplied because diabetes related nerve damage can cause you to be more susceptible to hearing loss from other factors.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease are not always interconnected. But sometimes hearing loss can be intensified by cardiovascular disease. The reason for this is that trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear is one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease. As that trauma escalates, your hearing could suffer as a result.

What’s The Answer?

It can seem a bit intimidating when all those health conditions get added together. But it’s worthwhile to keep one thing in mind: huge positive affect can be gained by dealing with your hearing loss. Though scientists and researchers don’t exactly know, for instance, why dementia and hearing loss show up together so often, they do know that managing hearing loss can significantly lower your dementia risks.

So no matter what your comorbid condition might be, the best way to go is to get your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is the reason why health care specialists are rethinking the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Instead of being a somewhat limited and specific area of concern, your ears are thought of as intimately connected to your general wellness. In a nutshell, we’re beginning to perceive the body more like an interrelated ecosystem. Hearing loss isn’t always an isolated situation. So it’s relevant 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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