Your body is a lot like an ecosystem. In nature, if there’s a problem with the pond, all of the fish and birds suffer the consequences; and all of the animals and plants that depend on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. We might not know it but our body operates on very comparable principals. That’s why something that seems to be isolated, such as hearing loss, can be connected to a large number of other diseases and ailments.
In a way, that’s simply more proof of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. Your brain might also be affected if something affects your hearing. These situations are called comorbid, a term that is specialized and signifies when two conditions have an affect on each other but don’t always have a cause and effect connection.
We can find out a lot regarding our bodies’ ecosystem by understanding disorders that are comorbid with hearing loss.
Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Associated With it
So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past few months. It’s been challenging to follow along with conversations in restaurants. You’ve been cranking up the volume on your tv. And certain sounds seem so far away. At this stage, most people will make an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the wise thing to do, actually).
Whether you recognize it or not, your hearing loss is connected to numerous other health conditions. Some of the health conditions that have reported comorbidity with hearing loss include:
- Diabetes: additionally, diabetes can have a negative affect on your nervous system all over your body (particularly in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be affected are the nerves in the ear. This damage can cause loss of hearing by itself. But your symptoms can be multiplied because diabetes related nerve damage can make you more prone to hearing loss caused by other factors.
- Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions aren’t always interconnected. In other instances, cardiovascular issues can make you more subject to hearing loss. 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 might suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
- Depression: a whole range of issues can be the consequence of social isolation because of hearing loss, many of which relate to your mental health. So it’s not surprising that study after study finds anxiety and depression have extremely high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
- Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your principal tool for balance. Vertigo and dizziness can be triggered by some forms of hearing loss because they have a damaging impact on the inner ear. Falls are progressively more dangerous as you age and falls can happen whenever someone loses their balance
- Dementia: a higher chance of dementia has been associated with hearing loss, although the underlying cause of that relationship is unclear. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
Is There Anything That Can be Done?
It can seem a little intimidating when you add all those health conditions together. But it’s worthwhile to keep one thing in mind: enormous positive impact can be gained by dealing with your hearing loss. Though scientists and researchers don’t exactly know, for example, why hearing loss and dementia show up together so often, they do know that treating hearing loss can significantly lower your dementia risks.
So the best way to go, no matter what comorbid condition you might be worried about, is to have your hearing examined.
Part of an Ecosystem
This is the reason why health care professionals are rethinking the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Your ears are being viewed as a part of your overall health profile rather than being a specific and limited concern. In a nutshell, we’re beginning to perceive the body more like an interrelated environment. Hearing loss doesn’t always develop in isolation. So it’s more relevant than ever that we address the entirety, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.