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

Your body is a lot like an ecosystem. In nature, if something happens to the pond, all of the fish and birds suffer the consequences; and all of the plants and animals that rely on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. We may not know it but our body operates on very comparable principals. That’s why a large number of ailments can be connected to something which at first appears so isolated like hearing loss.

In some respects, that’s just more evidence of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. When something affects your hearing, it may 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 always have a cause and effect relationship.

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 recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past few months. It’s harder to follow discussions in restaurants. Your television’s volume is constantly getting louder. And some sounds just feel a little more distant. At this point, the majority of people will set up an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the smart thing to do, actually).

Whether you recognize it or not, your hearing loss is linked to a number of other health issues. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been reported with the following health problems.

  • Dementia: neglected hearing loss has been linked to a higher risk of dementia, though it’s uncertain what the root cause is. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Depression: a whole host of issues can be caused by social isolation due to hearing loss, some of which are related to your mental health. So depression and anxiety, not surprisingly, have been found 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. In other instances, cardiovascular problems can make you more susceptible to hearing loss. 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 gets worse, your hearing may suffer as an outcome.
  • Vertigo and falls: your primary tool for balance is your inner ear. There are some forms of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, causing dizziness and vertigo. Falls are progressively more dangerous as you age and falls can happen whenever there is a loss of balance
  • Diabetes: additionally, diabetes can have a negative affect on your nervous system all over your body (specifically in your extremities). one of the areas particularly likely to be harmed are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be wholly caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be compounded because diabetes related nerve damage can cause you to be more susceptible to hearing loss caused by other factors.

Is There Anything That Can be Done?

It can seem a bit frightening when you add all those health conditions together. But one thing should be kept in mind: enormous positive impact can be gained by treating your hearing loss. While researchers and scientists don’t exactly know, for example, why hearing loss and dementia so often show up together, they do know that treating hearing loss can substantially lower your dementia risks.

So no matter what your comorbid condition may be, the best course of action is to have your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s why more health care specialists are viewing hearing health with new eyes. Instead of being a rather limited and specific area of concern, your ears are viewed as closely connected to your overall wellness. In other words, we’re starting to view the body more like an interconnected environment. Hearing loss doesn’t always develop in isolation. So it’s relevant to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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