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

Your body and an ecosystem have some similarities. In nature, if there’s a problem with the pond, all of the birds and fish suffer the consequences; and when the birds go away so too do all of the plants and animals that rely on those birds. We might not know it but our body works on very comparable principals. That’s the reason why something that appears isolated, like hearing loss, can be connected to a large number of other ailments and diseases.

This is, in a way, evidence of the interdependence of your body and it’s resemblance to an ecosystem. Your brain may also be affected if something affects your hearing. We call these situations comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) name that demonstrates a link between two conditions without necessarily articulating a cause-and-effect relationship.

The diseases that are comorbid with hearing loss can tell us a lot about our bodies’ ecosystems.

Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Related to it

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been recognizing the signs of hearing loss for the past few months. You’ve been having a difficult time making out what people are saying when you go out to eat. You’ve been turning the volume up on your tv. And certain sounds sound so far away. It would be a smart choice at this point to make an appointment with a hearing professional.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your hearing loss is linked to several other health conditions. Some of the health ailments that have reported comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Diabetes: likewise, diabetes can wreak havoc with your overall body’s nervous system (especially in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be harmed are the nerves in the ear. This damage can cause hearing loss by itself. But your symptoms can be multiplied because diabetes related nerve damage can cause you to be more prone to hearing loss caused by other factors.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your main tool for balance. There are some types of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, resulting in dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, naturally, cause falls, and as you get older, falls will become increasingly dangerous.
  • Cardiovascular disease: sometimes hearing loss doesn’t have anything to connect it with cardiovascular conditions. 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 symptoms of cardiovascular disease. As that trauma gets worse, your hearing might suffer as an outcome.
  • Dementia: a higher risk of dementia has been linked to hearing loss, though it’s uncertain what the base cause is. Research indicates that wearing a hearing aid can help slow cognitive decline and lower many of these dementia risks.
  • Depression: a whole host of problems can be caused by social isolation due to hearing loss, some of which relate to your mental health. So anxiety and depression, not surprisingly, have been shown in several studies, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.

Is There Anything That Can be Done?

It can seem a little frightening when all those health conditions get added together. But it’s worthwhile to keep one thing in mind: enormous positive affect can be gained by treating your hearing loss. Though researchers and scientists don’t exactly know, for example, why dementia and hearing loss so often show up together, they do know that treating hearing loss can substantially lower your risk of dementia.

So the best way to go, regardless of what comorbid condition you might be worried about, is to get your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is why health care professionals are rethinking the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Your ears are being regarded as a part of your total health profile rather than being a targeted and limited issue. We’re starting to think about the body as an interrelated environment in other words. Hearing loss isn’t always an isolated situation. So it’s more important than ever that we pay attention to the entirety, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.

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