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

Your body and an ecosystem have some similarities. In nature, all of the birds and fish will be affected if something happens to the pond; and all of the animals and plants that depend on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. We might not realize it but our body works on very similar principals. That’s why something which seems isolated, such as hearing loss, can be linked to a wide variety of other diseases and ailments.

In some respects, that’s simply more proof of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. When something affects your hearing, it might also influence your brain. We call these conditions comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) label that illustrates a link between two disorders without necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect connection.

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

Conditions Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the signs of hearing loss for the last couple of months. You’ve been having a difficult time making out conversation when you go out to eat. You’ve been cranking the volume up on your television. And some sounds just seem a little further away. It would be a smart choice at this point to set up an appointment with a hearing professional.

Your hearing loss is connected to a number of health problems whether your aware of it or not. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been reported with the following health ailments.

  • Diabetes: likewise, diabetes can have a negative affect on your nervous system all over your body (particularly in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be harmed are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be fully caused by this damage. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more susceptible to hearing loss caused by other factors, often compounding your symptoms.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions are not always interconnected. But sometimes hearing loss can be aggravated 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 escalates, your hearing could suffer as an outcome.
  • Vertigo and falls: your main tool for balance is your inner ear. Vertigo and dizziness can be caused by some forms of hearing loss because they have a negative affect on the inner ear. Falls are more and more dangerous as you age and falls can happen whenever someone loses their balance
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been linked to a higher chance of dementia, although the base cause of that relationship is not clear. Research indicates that using a hearing aid can help impede cognitive decline and lower a lot of these dementia risks.
  • Depression: a whole host of problems can be the consequence of social isolation due to hearing loss, many of which relate to your mental health. So it’s not surprising that study after study finds depression and anxiety have very high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.

What’s The Answer?

When you stack all of those connected health conditions added together, it can seem a little scary. But it’s important to keep one thing in mind: tremendous positive impact can be gained by dealing with your hearing loss. Even though scientists and researchers don’t exactly know, for instance, why hearing loss and dementia so often show up together, they do know that dealing with hearing loss can significantly lower your dementia risks.

So regardless of what your comorbid condition might be, the best course of action is to have your hearing tested.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is the reason why health care professionals are rethinking the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Instead of being a rather limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are seen as closely linked to your overall wellbeing. In a nutshell, we’re starting to perceive the body more like an interrelated environment. Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily develop in isolation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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