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 suffer the consequences; and all of the plants and animals that rely on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. The human body, commonly unbeknownst to us, operates on very comparable methods of interconnection. That’s why a large number of conditions can be connected to something that at first appears so isolated like hearing loss.

This is, in a way, evidence of the interdependence of your body and it’s resemblance to an ecosystem. Your brain may also be affected if something affects your hearing. We call these conditions comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) term that demonstrates a connection between two conditions while not necessarily articulating a cause-and-effect relationship.

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

Conditions Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been recognizing the signs of hearing loss for the last few months. You’ve been having a hard time making out what people are saying when you go out to eat. Your television’s volume is constantly getting louder. And some sounds sound so far away. It would be a smart choice at this point to set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.

Your hearing loss is connected to numerous health conditions whether you recognize it or not. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been documented with the following health ailments.

  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your main tool for balance. There are some types of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, causing dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, naturally, cause falls, and as you age, falls can become significantly more hazardous.
  • Cardiovascular disease: sometimes hearing loss has nothing to connect it 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 could suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been linked to a higher chance of dementia, although it’s uncertain what the root cause is. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by using hearing aids.
  • Depression: a whole host of concerns can be the result of social isolation because of hearing loss, many of which are related to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study finds depression and anxiety have very high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Diabetes: similarly, your entire nervous system can be influenced in a negative way by diabetes (especially in your extremities). one of the areas particularly likely to be harmed are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be entirely caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be compounded because diabetes related nerve damage can cause you to be more prone to hearing loss from other factors.

Is There Anything That You Can do?

When you add all of those connected health conditions added together, it can seem a bit intimidating. But it’s important to keep one thing in mind: dealing with your hearing loss can have tremendous positive effects. Researchers and scientists know that if hearing loss is treated, the risk of dementia dramatically lowers even though they don’t really know exactly why hearing loss and dementia show up together to begin with.

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 the reason why health care professionals are reconsidering the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Instead of being a somewhat limited and specific area of concern, your ears are viewed as closely linked to your general wellness. We’re starting to consider the body as an interconnected environment in other words. Hearing loss doesn’t always happen in isolation. So it’s more relevant 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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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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