Your body is a lot like an ecosystem. In nature, if there’s a problem with the pond, all of the birds and fish suffer the consequences; and when the birds disappear so too do all of the plants and animals that rely on those birds. We may not recognize it but our body works on very comparable principals. That’s why something which seems to be isolated, such as hearing loss, can be connected to a large number of other diseases and ailments.
This is, in a way, proof of the interdependence of your body and it’s resemblance to an ecosystem. When something affects your hearing, it might also influence your brain. We call these situations comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) label that demonstrates a connection between two conditions without necessarily articulating a cause-and-effect connection.
The disorders that are comorbid with hearing loss can give us lots of information regarding our bodies’ ecosystems.
Diseases Associated With Hearing Loss
So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the signs of hearing loss for the past several months. It’s more difficult to follow discussions in restaurants. You’ve been turning the volume up on your tv. And certain sounds seem so far away. When this is the situation, the majority of people will schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the smart thing to do, actually).
Your hearing loss is connected to a number of health conditions whether you recognize it or not. Some of the health problems that have reported comorbidity with hearing loss include:
- Cardiovascular disease: occasionally hearing loss doesn’t have anything to do with cardiovascular conditions. In other situations, cardiovascular problems can make you more vulnerable to hearing loss. That’s because one of the initial symptoms of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear. Your hearing may suffer as a result of that trauma.
- Diabetes: likewise, your whole nervous system can be influenced in a negative way by diabetes (particularly in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be affected 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 make you more prone to hearing loss caused by other factors.
- Dementia: neglected hearing loss has been connected to a higher chance of dementia, although the underlying cause of that relationship is unclear. Research indicates that using a hearing aid can help slow cognitive decline and lower a lot of these dementia concerns.
- Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your main tool for balance. Vertigo and dizziness can be created by some types of hearing loss because they have a negative affect on the inner ear. Falls are progressively more dangerous as you age and falls can happen whenever someone loses their balance
- Depression: a whole host of issues can be the consequence 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 study after study, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
What’s The Answer?
It can seem a bit intimidating when all those health conditions get added together. But it’s worthwhile to keep one thing in mind: enormous positive impact can be gained by dealing with your hearing loss. Even though scientists and researchers don’t really know, for instance, why hearing loss and dementia so often show up together, they do know that dealing with hearing loss can substantially lower your dementia risks.
So no matter what your comorbid condition might be, the best course of action is to get your hearing checked.
Part of an Ecosystem
This is the reason why health care specialists are reconsidering the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Instead of being a rather limited and specific area of concern, your ears are viewed as closely connected to your overall wellbeing. In a nutshell, we’re beginning to perceive the body more like an interconnected ecosystem. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated scenario. So it’s more important than ever that we keep your eye on the entirety, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.