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

Your body is a lot like an ecosystem. In nature, all of the birds and fish will be affected if something happens to the pond; and all of the animals and plants that rely on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. The human body, frequently unbeknownst to us, functions on very comparable methods of interconnectedness. That’s why a wide variety of ailments can be linked to something which at first seems so isolated like hearing loss.

In a sense, that’s simply more proof of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. When something affects your hearing, it might also influence your brain. We call these circumstances comorbid, a name that is specialized and signifies when two conditions have an affect on each other but don’t necessarily have a cause and effect relationship.

We can discover a lot regarding our bodies’ ecosystem by understanding disorders 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 harder to follow along with conversations in restaurants. The volume of your television is constantly getting louder. And certain sounds just feel a bit more distant. At this point, the majority of people will make an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the smart thing to do, actually).

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

  • Diabetes: likewise, your overall nervous system can be negatively influenced by diabetes (specifically in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be harmed are the nerves in the ear. This damage can cause loss of hearing by itself. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more vulnerable to hearing loss caused by other factors, often adding to your symptoms.
  • Cardiovascular disease: sometimes hearing loss has nothing to do with cardiovascular conditions. But at times hearing loss can be worsened by cardiovascular disease. That’s because one of the initial signs of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear. Your hearing might suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been connected to a higher chance of dementia, though it’s uncertain what the base cause is. Research suggests that wearing a hearing aid can help impede cognitive decline and decrease a lot of these dementia concerns.
  • Vertigo and falls: your main tool for balance is your inner ear. There are some types of hearing loss that can play havoc with your inner ear, resulting in dizziness and vertigo. Falls are progressively more dangerous as you age and falls can happen whenever there is a loss of balance
  • Depression: a whole host of problems can be the result of social isolation because of hearing loss, some of which relate to your mental health. So anxiety and depression, not surprisingly, have been shown in several studies, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.

What’s The Answer?

It can seem a little intimidating when you add all those health conditions together. But one thing should be kept in mind: enormous positive impact can be gained by dealing with your hearing loss. While scientists and researchers don’t exactly know, for example, why dementia and hearing loss show up together so often, they do know that dealing with hearing loss can substantially lower your risk of dementia.

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

Part of an Ecosystem

This is why health care specialists are reconsidering the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Instead of being a rather limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are viewed as closely connected to your overall wellbeing. We’re beginning to consider the body as an interconnected environment in other words. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated situation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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