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 suffer if something happens to the pond; and all of the plants and animals that rely on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. The human body, commonly unbeknownst to us, operates on very comparable methods of interconnection. That’s the reason why a wide variety of conditions can be linked to something which at first seems so isolated like hearing loss.

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

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

Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Linked to it

So, let’s assume that you’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past few months. You’ve been having a hard time hearing conversation when you go out for a bite. You’ve been turning the volume up on your tv. And certain sounds seem so far away. When this is the situation, most people will set up an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the practical thing to do, actually).

Whether you recognize it or not, your hearing loss is connected to numerous other health problems. Some of the health problems that have reported comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can have a negative affect on your entire body’s nervous system (especially in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are particularly likely to be affected. This damage can cause loss of hearing by itself. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more susceptible to hearing loss caused by other issues, often compounding your symptoms.
  • Dementia: a higher chance of dementia has been connected to hearing loss, although the underlying cause of that relationship is uncertain. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Cardiovascular disease: occasionally hearing loss doesn’t have anything to do with cardiovascular conditions. But at times hearing loss can be intensified by cardiovascular disease. That’s because one of the first symptoms of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear. As that trauma escalates, your hearing could suffer as an outcome.
  • Depression: social isolation associated with hearing loss can cause a whole host of problems, many of which are related 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.
  • 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, causing dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you age, falls can become significantly more hazardous.

What Can You Do?

When you stack all of those related health conditions on top of each other, it can seem a little intimidating. But it’s important to keep one thing in mind: dealing with your hearing loss can have tremendous positive impacts. Researchers and scientists know that if hearing loss is treated, the risk of dementia significantly lowers even though they don’t really understand exactly why hearing loss and dementia show up together in the first place.

So regardless of what your comorbid condition may be, the best way to go is to get your hearing examined.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s the reason why more health care specialists are looking at hearing health with fresh eyes. Your ears are being considered as a part of your general health profile rather than being a specific and limited concern. In other words, we’re beginning to view the body more like an interconnected ecosystem. Hearing loss isn’t always an isolated situation. So it’s relevant to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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