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

Your body is similar to an ecosystem. In the natural world, if there’s a problem with the pond, all of the fish and birds are impacted as well; and when the birds go away so too do all of the animals and plants that rely on those birds. The human body, frequently unbeknownst to us, works on very similar principles of interconnectedness. That’s why something which appears isolated, such as hearing loss, can be linked to a wide variety of other ailments and diseases.

This is, in a way, evidence of the interdependence of your body and it’s similarity to an ecosystem. Your brain might also be affected if something affects your hearing. These situations are identified as comorbid, a name that is specialized and indicates when two conditions affect each other but don’t always have a cause and effect connection.

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

Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Linked to it

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the signs of hearing loss for the past few months. You’ve been having a tough time making out conversation when you go out for a bite. The volume of your television is getting louder and louder. And some sounds just feel a bit further away. At this stage, the majority of people will schedule an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the practical thing to do, actually).

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

  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease aren’t always connected. But at times hearing loss can be worsened 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 may suffer as an outcome.
  • Dementia: neglected hearing loss has been linked to a higher chance of dementia, although it’s unclear what the base cause is. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your principal tool for balance. Vertigo and dizziness can be triggered by some forms of hearing loss because they have a damaging influence on the inner ear. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you get older, falls can become increasingly hazardous.
  • Depression: a whole range of issues can be the consequence of social isolation because of hearing loss, some of which are related to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study confirms depression and anxiety have very high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Diabetes: additionally, your entire nervous system can be negatively influenced by diabetes (particularly in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are particularly likely to be harmed. Hearing loss can be wholly caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be compounded because diabetes related nerve damage can make you more prone to hearing loss from other factors.

Is There Anything That You Can do?

When you stack all of those related health conditions on top of each other, it can look a bit scary. But it’s worthwhile to remember one thing: treating your hearing loss can have tremendous positive effects. Scientists and researchers recognize that if hearing loss is managed, the risk of dementia significantly lowers even though they don’t really know precisely why dementia and hearing loss manifest together in the first place.

So the best way to go, regardless of what comorbid condition you might be concerned about, is to have your hearing tested.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is the reason why health care professionals are reconsidering the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Instead of being a rather limited and specific area of concern, your ears are viewed as closely connected to your general wellness. In other words, we’re beginning to perceive the body more like an interrelated ecosystem. Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily arise in isolation. So it’s more important than ever that we address the entirety, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but 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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