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

Your body is a lot like an ecosystem. In nature, all of the birds and fish will suffer if something goes wrong with the pond; and when the birds go away so too do all of the plants and animals that rely on those birds. We may not know it but our body works on very comparable principals. That’s why something which seems to be isolated, like hearing loss, can be connected to a large number of other ailments and diseases.

In some respects, that’s just more evidence of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. When something affects your hearing, it might also influence your brain. We call these situations comorbid, a name that is specialized and signifies when two conditions 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 regarding our bodies’ ecosystems.

Diseases Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the last several months. It’s more difficult to follow discussions in restaurants. Your television’s volume is constantly getting louder. And some sounds seem so far away. At this point, the majority of people will make an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the practical thing to do, actually).

Your hearing loss is linked to numerous health conditions whether you recognize it or not. Some of the health ailments that have documented comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your principal tool for balance. There are some forms of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, resulting in dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you get older, falls will become increasingly hazardous.
  • Dementia: neglected hearing loss has been connected to a higher chance of dementia, though it’s not clear what the root cause is. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by using hearing aids.
  • Depression: social separation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole host of problems, many of which are related to your mental health. So depression and anxiety, not surprisingly, have been shown in study after study, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease aren’t always connected. But sometimes hearing loss can be intensified by cardiovascular disease. The explanation 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.
  • Diabetes: additionally, your entire nervous system can be influenced in a negative way by diabetes (especially in your extremities). one of the areas particularly likely to be damaged are the nerves in the ear. This damage can cause hearing loss by itself. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more vulnerable to hearing loss caused by other factors, often adding to your symptoms.

Is There Anything That You Can do?

When you stack all of those related health conditions added together, it can seem a bit scary. But it’s important to keep one thing in mind: tremendous positive affect can be gained by treating your hearing loss. Though researchers and scientists don’t exactly know, for instance, why hearing loss and dementia so often show up together, they do know that managing hearing loss can substantially lower your risk of dementia.

So no matter what your comorbid condition might be, the best way to go is to have your hearing tested.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s why more medical professionals are viewing hearing health with new eyes. Instead of being a somewhat limited and specific area of concern, your ears are viewed as closely connected to your overall wellness. In a nutshell, we’re starting to perceive the body more like an interrelated ecosystem. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated scenario. So it’s significant to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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