Hearing Services of Nashville

Image of a neural disease that would cause high-frequency hearing loss.

Do you invest much time thinking about your nervous system? For most people, the answer would most likely be not that frequently. Ordinarily, you wouldn’t have to be concerned about how your neurons are sending messages to the nerves in your body. But you tend to pay more attention when something goes wrong and the nerves start to misfire.

There’s one particular condition, called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which can affect the nervous system on a relatively large scale, though the symptoms usually manifest primarily in the extremities. high-frequency hearing loss can also be the result of CMT according to some evidence.

What Is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited conditions. Essentially, these genetic conditions cause something to go wrong with your nerves or with the protective sheathing around your nerves.

As a result, the impulses sent from your brain to those nerves (and from those nerves back to your brain) don’t progress all that well. Functionally, this can lead to both a loss in motor function and a loss of sensation.

CMT can be found in numerous varieties and a mixture of genetic factors usually lead to its expressions. Symptoms of CMT normally begin in the feet and work their way up to the arms. And, high-frequency hearing loss, oddly, has a high rate of occurrence in those who have CMT.

A Connection Between Loss of Hearing And CMT: The Cochlear Nerve

The link between CMT and loss of hearing has always been colloquially supported (that is, everyone knows somebody who has a story about it – at least inside of the CMT culture). And it was tough to recognize the connection 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 researchers examined 79 people with CMT at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The results were rather conclusive. Almost everyone who has CMT passed their low and moderate frequency hearing exams with flying colors. But high-frequency sounds (in the moderate region particularly) were easily heard by all of the individuals. high-frequency hearing loss, according to this study, is likely to be connected to CMT.

The Cause of Hearing Loss and How to Deal With It

At first, it may be puzzling to attempt to figure out the connection between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT. Like every other part of your body relies on correctly functioning nerves. Your ears are exactly the same.

What the majority of researchers hypothesize occurs is that the cochlear nerve is affected by the CMT – disrupting your ear’s ability to translate and transmit sounds in a high-frequency range. Certain sounds, including some voices, will be hard to hear. Trying to hear voices in a crowded noisy room is especially hard.

This kind of hearing loss is usually managed with hearing aids. There’s no known cure for CMT. Modern hearing aids can isolate the exact frequencies to boost which can provide considerable help in fighting high-frequency hearing loss. The majority of modern hearing aids can also do well in noisy settings.

Many Reasons For Hearing Loss

Beyond the unconfirmed hypothesis, it’s still uncertain what the link between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT is. But hearing aid technology provides an obvious solution to the symptoms of that loss of hearing. That’s why lots of people who have CMT will take the time to sit down with a hearing care specialist and get a fitting for a custom hearing aid.

There are a variety of causes for hearing loss symptoms. In some situations, loss of hearing is caused by excess exposure to harmful noises. Obstructions can be another cause. It appears that CMT can be still another reason for loss of hearing.

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