How frequently do you think about your nervous system? Most likely not all that frequently. As long as your body is working as it is supposed to, you have no reason to consider how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending correct messages through the electrical pathways in your body. But when those nerves begin to misfire – that is when something isn’t working properly – you begin to pay much more attention to your nervous system.
There’s one particular disease, called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which can influence the nervous system on a fairly large scale, though the symptoms normally manifest mainly in the extremities. And there’s some evidence to suggest that CMT can also cause high-frequency hearing loss.
What Is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited disorders. The protective sheathing around the nerves malfunction due to a genetic condition.
There is a problem with the way impulses travel between your brain and your nerves. Functionally, this can cause both a loss in motor function and a loss of sensation.
CMT can be found in several varieties and a combination of genetic considerations normally result in its expressions. For many people who have CMT, symptoms begin in the feet and go up into their arms. And, strangely, among those who have CMT, there is a higher rate of occurrence of high-frequency hearing loss.
A Link Between Hearing Loss And CMT: The Cochlear Nerve
There’s always been an anecdotal link between hearing loss and CMT (meaning that inside of the CMT community everyone has heard others tell stories about it). And it seemed to confuse people who suffered from CMT – the ear didn’t seem very related to the loss of feeling in the legs, for example.
A scientific study firmly established the connection just recently when a group of researchers examined 79 people with CMT at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
The findings were quite decisive. Low to moderate frequencies were heard nearly perfectly by those who had CMT. But all of the participants showed loss of hearing 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 associated with CMT.
What is The Cause of Hearing Loss And How Can it be Treated?
At first, it could be puzzling to attempt to figure out the connection between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT. But everything in your body, from your toes to your eyebrows, relies on the correct functioning of nerves. That also goes for your ears.
The hypothesis is, CMT affects the cochlear nerve so noises in the high-frequency range aren’t able to be interpreted. Anyone with this form of hearing loss will have difficulty hearing some sounds, including people’s voices. In particular, understand voices in crowded and noisy rooms can be a tangible obstacle.
Hearing aids are usually used to manage this kind of hearing loss. CMT has no known cure. Modern hearing aids can give significant assistance in terms of combating the effects of high-frequency loss of hearing, isolating only those ranges of sounds to boost. Most modern hearing aids can also work well in noisy environments.
Hearing Loss Can Have Many Causes
Further than the untested theory, it’s still not well understood what the link between CMT and high-frequency hearing loss. But this type of hearing loss can be successfully treated using hearing aids. That’s why many individuals with CMT will make time to sit down with a hearing care professional and get a fitting for a custom hearing aid.
There are a range of causes for hearing loss symptoms. Frequently, it’s an issue of loud noise contributing to damage to the ears. In other circumstances, loss of hearing could be the result of an obstruction. It also looks like CMT is another possible cause.