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

Your body is similar to an ecosystem. In nature, all of the fish and birds will suffer if something happens to the pond; and all of the animals and plants that rely on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. The human body, commonly unbeknownst to us, functions on very similar methods of interconnection. That’s why a large number of illnesses can be linked to something which at first seems so isolated like hearing loss.

In some respects, that’s simply more evidence of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. Your brain might also be affected if something affects your hearing. These conditions are referred to as comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) term that demonstrates a link between two disorders without necessarily articulating a cause-and-effect relationship.

We can find out a lot concerning our bodies’ ecosystem by understanding conditions that are comorbid with hearing loss.

Hearing Loss And The Conditions That Are Connected to it

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been recognizing the signs of hearing loss for the past several months. You’ve been having a difficult time hearing conversation when you go out to eat. You’ve been turning the volume up on your television. And certain sounds just feel a little more distant. It would be a good choice at this point to make an appointment with a hearing specialist.

Your hearing loss is connected to a number of health problems whether you recognize it or not. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been documented with the following health conditions.

  • Depression: social isolation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole host of concerns, many of which are related to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study finds anxiety and depression have very high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been connected to a higher chance of dementia, although it’s unclear what the base cause is. Research shows that wearing a hearing aid can help slow cognitive decline and lower many of these dementia concerns.
  • Vertigo and falls: your primary tool for balance is your inner ear. There are some types of hearing loss that can play havoc with your inner ear, causing dizziness and vertigo. Falls are more and more dangerous as you get older and falls can happen whenever there is a loss of balance
  • Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can have a negative affect on your entire body’s nervous system (particularly in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are especially likely to be affected. This damage can cause hearing loss all on its own. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more susceptible to hearing loss caused by other issues, often adding to your symptoms.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions aren’t always connected. But at times hearing loss can be aggravated by cardiovascular disease. That’s because one of the initial symptoms of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear. Your hearing could suffer as a result of the of that trauma.

Is There Anything That You Can do?

It can seem a bit intimidating when you add all those health conditions together. But it’s worthwhile to keep one thing in mind: managing your hearing loss can have enormous positive influences. Even though researchers and scientists don’t exactly know, for instance, why hearing loss and dementia show up together so often, 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 way to go is to get your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is why health care specialists are reconsidering the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Your ears are being viewed as a part of your overall health profile instead of being a specific and limited concern. We’re starting to think about the body as an interrelated environment in other words. Hearing loss isn’t always an isolated scenario. So it’s significant to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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