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

Your body and an ecosystem are similar in some ways. In nature, all of the fish and birds will be affected if something goes wrong with the pond; 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 functions on very similar principals. That’s why something which seems to be isolated, such as hearing loss, can be connected to a wide variety of other ailments and diseases.

In a way, that’s simply more proof of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. When something affects your hearing, it may also impact your brain. We call these circumstances comorbid, a name that is specialized and signifies when two ailments affect each other but don’t necessarily have a cause and effect relationship.

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

Diseases Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past several months. It’s more difficult to follow discussions in restaurants. Your television’s volume is constantly getting louder. And some sounds just seem a little more distant. At this stage, most people will set up an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the practical thing to do, actually).

Your hearing loss is connected to a number of health problems whether your aware of it or not. Some of the health conditions that have documented comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Dementia: a higher chance of dementia has been associated with hearing loss, although it’s uncertain what the base cause is. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Depression: a whole range of issues can be the result of social isolation because of hearing loss, many of which are related to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study finds anxiety and depression have extremely high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Diabetes: additionally, diabetes can have a negative affect on your overall body’s nervous system (especially in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are particularly likely to be harmed. This damage can cause hearing loss by itself. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more susceptible to hearing loss caused by other factors, often adding to your symptoms.
  • Vertigo and falls: your main 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 significantly more hazardous.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions aren’t always interconnected. But sometimes hearing loss can be aggravated by cardiovascular disease. The reason for this is that trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear is one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease. As that trauma escalates, your hearing may suffer as a result.

Is There Anything That You Can do?

When you add all of those connected health conditions added together, it can seem a bit scary. But one thing should be kept in mind: tremendous positive affect can be gained by dealing with your hearing loss. Though scientists and researchers don’t really know, for example, why hearing loss and dementia so often show up together, they do know that managing hearing loss can dramatically lower your risk of dementia.

So regardless of what your comorbid condition may be, the best course of action is to get your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is why health care specialists are rethinking the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Instead of being a rather limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are thought of as closely connected to your general wellness. In a nutshell, we’re beginning to perceive the body more like an interrelated ecosystem. Hearing loss isn’t always an isolated situation. So it’s significant to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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