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

Your body is a lot like an ecosystem. In nature, all of the birds and fish will be affected if something goes wrong with the pond; and all of the animals and plants that rely on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. We might not know it but our body works on very comparable principals. That’s why a wide variety of afflictions can be linked to something that at first appears so isolated like hearing loss.

This is, in a sense, proof of the interdependence of your body and it’s similarity to an ecosystem. When something affects your hearing, it might also impact your brain. These situations are known as comorbid, a term that is specialized and signifies when two conditions have an affect on each other but don’t always have a cause and effect connection.

The conditions that are comorbid with hearing loss can give us lots of information concerning our bodies’ ecosystems.

Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Connected to it

So, let’s assume that you’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past couple of months. You’ve been having a tough time hearing what people are saying when you go out to eat. The volume of your television is getting louder and louder. And some sounds just feel a bit more distant. When this is the situation, the majority of people will set up an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the smart thing to do, actually).

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

  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions aren’t necessarily interconnected. In other instances, cardiovascular issues can make you more susceptible to hearing loss. 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 escalates, your hearing may suffer as a result.
  • Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can wreak havoc with your nervous system all over your body (particularly in your extremities). one of the areas particularly likely to be harmed are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be fully caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be multiplied because diabetes related nerve damage can cause you to be more susceptible to hearing loss from other factors.
  • 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. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you age, falls will become increasingly dangerous.
  • Dementia: a higher chance of dementia has been connected to hearing loss, although the base cause of that relationship is not clear. Research shows that wearing a hearing aid can help impede cognitive decline and decrease a lot of these dementia risks.
  • Depression: a whole range of concerns can be the consequence of social isolation because of hearing loss, many of which relate to your mental health. So anxiety and depression, not surprisingly, have been shown in study after study, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.

What’s The Answer?

When you add all of those related health conditions on top of each other, it can look a bit scary. But it’s worthwhile to keep one thing in mind: huge positive affect 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 managing hearing loss can substantially lower your risk of dementia.

So no matter what your comorbid condition might be, the best course of action is to get your hearing examined.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s why more health care professionals are viewing hearing health with new eyes. Instead of being a somewhat limited and specific area of concern, your ears are seen as intimately connected to your general wellness. We’re beginning to consider the body as an interconnected environment in other words. Hearing loss isn’t always an isolated scenario. So it’s more significant than ever that we keep your eye on the totality, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.

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