Do you spend much time thinking about your nervous system? Probably not all that regularly. As long as your body is working as it should, you’ve no reason to consider how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending proper messages through the electrical pathways of your body. But when those nerves begin to misfire – that is when something fails – you tend to pay much more attention to your nervous system.
One specific disease called Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease that normally affects the extremities can also have a pretty wide-scale affect on the whole nervous system. And there’s some evidence that implies that CMT can also lead to high-frequency hearing loss.
What Is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited conditions. Essentially, these genetic disorders cause something to go wrong with your nerves or with the protective sheathing surrounding your nerves.
There is a problem with the way signals move between your brain and your nerves. A loss in motor function and sensation can be the result.
CMT can be present in a number of varieties and a mixture of genetic considerations normally lead to its expressions. For most people with CMT, symptoms start in the feet and go up into their arms. And, high-frequency hearing loss, oddly, has a high rate of occurrence in those with CMT.
A Link Between Loss of Hearing And CMT: The Cochlear Nerve
The connection between CMT and loss of hearing has always been colloquially established (that is, everyone knows someone who has a tells about it – at least within the CMT community). And it was difficult to recognize the link between loss of sensation in the legs and problems with the ears.
A scientific study firmly established the connection just recently when a group of scientists examined 79 people with CMT at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
The findings were quite decisive. Low to moderate frequencies were heard very nearly perfectly by those who had CMT. But all of the individuals showed loss of hearing when it came to the high-frequency sounds (usually around the moderate levels). high-frequency hearing loss, according to this study, is likely to be connected to CMT.
What is The Cause of Hearing Loss And How Can it be Treated?
The link between high-frequency loss of hearing and CMT may, at first, seem puzzling. Like every other part of your body relies on properly functioning nerves. That also goes for your ears.
What most researchers hypothesize occurs is that the cochlear nerve is impacted by the CMT – disrupting your ear’s ability to interpret and transmit sounds in a high-frequency range. Anyone with this form of hearing loss will have difficulty hearing certain sounds, and that includes voices. Notably, understand voices in crowded and noisy rooms can be a tangible obstacle.
This form of hearing loss is usually treated with hearing aids. There’s no known cure for CMT. Modern hearing aids can isolate the exact frequencies to amplify which can provide considerable assistance in combating high-frequency hearing loss. Additionally, most modern hearing aids can be calibrated to work well inside of noisy conditions.
Hearing Loss Can Have Several Causes
Experts still aren’t completely certain why CMT and hearing loss seem to co-exist quite so frequently (beyond their untested hypothesis). But this type of hearing loss can be effectively addressed with hearing aids. That’s why many people with CMT will make time to sit down with a hearing professional and get fitted for a custom hearing aid.
Hearing loss symptoms can develop for many reasons. In many cases, hearing loss is brought about by undesirable exposure to damaging noises. In other circumstances, hearing loss could be the consequence of a blockage. It also looks like CMT is another possible cause.