Do you invest much time considering your nervous system? For the majority of people, the answer would most likely be not very often. As long as your body is performing in the way that it should, you have no reason to think about how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending proper messages through the electrical pathways of your body. But you will take a closer look when something isn’t working right and the nerves begin to misfire.
One specific disease called Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease that generally affects the extremities can also have a pretty wide-scale impact on the overall nervous system. And there’s some evidence that implies that CMT can also lead to high-frequency loss of hearing.
What Is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited disorders. The protective sheathing around the nerves fail to function properly due to a genetic condition.
There is a problem with how signals travel between your brain and your nerves. A loss of motor function and sensation can be the result.
CMT can be present in numerous varieties and a combination of genetic factors normally 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, curiously, has a high rate of occurrence in those with CMT.
A Link Between Hearing Loss And CMT: The Cochlear Nerve
The connection between CMT and loss of hearing has always been colloquially established (that is, everybody knows somebody who has a tells about it – at least inside of the CMT community). And it was difficult to realize the connection between loss of sensation in the legs and issues 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 results were quite conclusive. Low to moderate frequencies were heard very nearly perfectly by those who had CMT. But all of the individuals showed hearing loss when it came to the high-frequency sounds (usually across the moderate levels). high-frequency hearing loss, according to this research, is likely to be linked to CMT.
The Cause of Hearing Loss and How to Deal With It
The connection between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT might, at first, seem perplexing. But all of your body, from your toes to your eyebrows, relies on the proper functioning of nerves. That’s also the same for your ears.
What many researchers hypothesize happens is that the cochlear nerve is affected by the CMT – interfering with your ear’s ability to interpret and transmit sounds in a high-frequency range. Anybody with this form of hearing loss will have difficulty hearing specific sounds, and that includes peoples voices. Trying to hear voices in a crowded noisy room is especially difficult.
Hearing aids are commonly used to treat this type of hearing loss. CMT has no known cure. Modern hearing aids can isolate the exact frequencies to amplify which can provide appreciable assistance in battling high-frequency hearing loss. In addition, most modern hearing aids can be adjusted to function well inside of noisy settings.
Many Reasons For Hearing Loss
Researchers still aren’t entirely sure why CMT and hearing loss seem to co-exist quite so often (above and beyond their untested hypothesis). But hearing aid technology provides a definite treatment for the symptoms of that hearing loss. So scheduling an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids will be a smart choice for people who have CMT.
Hearing loss symptoms can develop for several reasons. In some situations, hearing loss is caused by excess exposure to harmful noises. Obstructions can be yet another cause. It also appears that CMT is another possible cause.