Hearing Services of Nashville

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

Your body is similar to an ecosystem. In nature, all of the birds and fish will be affected if something goes wrong with the pond; and when the birds disappear so too do all of the plants and animals that rely on those birds. The human body, commonly unbeknownst to us, works on very similar principles of interconnectedness. That’s why something that seems to be isolated, such as hearing loss, can be connected to a large number of other ailments and diseases.

This is, in a sense, proof 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 situations comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) name that illustrates a connection between two conditions while not necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect connection.

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

Conditions Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s assume that you’ve been recognizing the signs of hearing loss for the past few months. It’s been challenging to follow conversations in restaurants. Your television’s volume is getting louder and louder. And some sounds just seem a bit more distant. It would be a good choice at this point to set up an appointment with a hearing professional.

Whether you recognize it or not, your hearing loss is connected to numerous other health conditions. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been reported with the following health conditions.

  • Diabetes: additionally, your entire nervous system can be influenced in a negative way by diabetes (particularly in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are especially likely to be damaged. 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 prone to hearing loss from other factors.
  • Depression: a whole host of issues can be caused by social isolation because of hearing loss, some of which are related to your mental health. So it’s not surprising that study after study finds depression and anxiety have extremely high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been connected to a higher risk of dementia, although it’s uncertain what the root cause is. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Cardiovascular disease: on occasion hearing loss doesn’t have anything to do with cardiovascular conditions. But at times hearing loss can be worsened by cardiovascular disease. The explanation for this is that trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear is one of the first symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Your hearing could suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
  • Vertigo and falls: your primary tool for balance is your inner ear. There are some forms of hearing loss that can play havoc with your inner ear, causing dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, naturally, cause falls, and as you age, falls can become increasingly dangerous.

Is There Anything That Can be Done?

When you add all of those related health conditions added together, it can look a bit scary. But it’s worthwhile to keep one thing in mind: tremendous 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 so often show up together, they do know that managing hearing loss can significantly lower your dementia risks.

So regardless of what your comorbid condition may be, the best way to go is to have your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is why health care specialists are reconsidering the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Instead of being a somewhat limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are thought of as intimately linked to your overall wellness. In other words, we’re beginning to view the body more like an interrelated environment. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated scenario. So it’s relevant to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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