Your body is similar to an ecosystem. In nature, all of the fish and birds will be affected if something happens to the pond; and all of the plants and animals that rely on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. We might not realize it but our body works on very similar principals. That’s the reason why a large number of illnesses can be connected to something which at first appears so isolated like hearing loss.
This is, in a sense, evidence of the interdependence of your body and it’s similarity to an ecosystem. Your brain might also be affected if something affects your hearing. We call these circumstances comorbid, a name that is specialized and signifies when two conditions affect each other but don’t always have a cause and effect connection.
The diseases that are comorbid with hearing loss can give us lots of information about our bodies’ ecosystems.
Conditions Associated With Hearing Loss
So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past couple of months. It’s harder to follow along with conversations in restaurants. You’ve been turning the volume up on your tv. And certain sounds just feel a bit more distant. When this is the situation, 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 several health problems whether your aware of it or not. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been documented with the following health conditions.
- Dementia: a higher chance of dementia has been connected to hearing loss, although the base cause of that relationship is not clear. Research indicates that wearing a hearing aid can help slow cognitive decline and lower a lot of these dementia concerns.
- Diabetes: likewise, diabetes can wreak havoc with your nervous system all over your body (specifically in your extremities). one of the areas particularly 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 susceptible to hearing loss caused by other factors.
- Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your primary tool for balance. Vertigo and dizziness can be triggered by some types of hearing loss because they have a damaging impact on the inner ear. Falls are progressively more dangerous as you get older and falls can occur whenever someone loses their balance
- Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions are not always interconnected. But at times 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 gets worse, your hearing could suffer as an outcome.
- Depression: a whole host of problems can be caused by social isolation because of hearing loss, some 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.
Is There Anything That Can be Done?
When you add all of those connected health conditions added together, it can look a bit scary. But one thing should be kept in mind: treating your hearing loss can have tremendous positive influences. While scientists and researchers don’t really know, for example, why hearing loss and dementia show up together so often, they do know that dealing with hearing loss can substantially lower your dementia risks.
So the best course of action, no matter what comorbid condition you might be worried about, is to get your hearing tested.
Part of an Ecosystem
This is why health care professionals are reconsidering the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Your ears are being considered as a part of your total health profile instead of being a targeted and limited concern. We’re beginning to consider the body as an interrelated environment in other words. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated scenario. So it’s significant to pay attention to your health as a whole.