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

Your body and an ecosystem are similar in some ways. In nature, all of the fish and birds will be affected if something happens to the pond; and all of the animals and plants that rely on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. We might not recognize it but our body works on very similar principals. That’s why something that seems to be isolated, like hearing loss, can be connected to a large number of other diseases and ailments.

This is, in a sense, evidence of the interdependence of your body and it’s resemblance to an ecosystem. When something affects your hearing, it may also influence your brain. We call these situations comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) term that illustrates a connection between two conditions while not necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect connection.

We can learn a lot regarding our bodies’ ecosystem by comprehending ailments that are comorbid with hearing loss.

Diseases Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s assume that you’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the last several months. It’s harder to follow conversations in restaurants. The volume of your television is constantly getting louder. And certain sounds seem so far away. At this point, the majority of people will make an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the wise thing to do, actually).

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your hearing loss is connected to several other health conditions. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been reported with the following health ailments.

  • Dementia: a higher chance of dementia has been linked to hearing loss, though it’s uncertain what the root cause is. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Diabetes: additionally, diabetes can have a negative affect on your entire body’s nervous system (especially in your extremities). one of the areas particularly likely to be harmed are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be entirely caused by this damage. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more vulnerable to hearing loss caused by other factors, often compounding your symptoms.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions aren’t always connected. In other instances, cardiovascular problems 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 an outcome.
  • Depression: social isolation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole host of issues, some of which are related to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study confirms anxiety and depression have really high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your primary tool for balance. Vertigo and dizziness can be created by some forms of hearing loss because they have a negative impact on the inner ear. Any loss of balance can, naturally, cause falls, and as you get older, falls will become increasingly dangerous.

What Can You Do?

When you stack all of those connected health conditions on top of each other, it can seem a little scary. But one thing should be kept in mind: treating your hearing loss can have enormous positive effects. Researchers and scientists understand that if hearing loss is treated, the risk of dementia substantially lowers although they don’t really understand precisely why hearing loss and dementia manifest together in the first place.

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

Part of an Ecosystem

This is the reason why health care specialists are rethinking the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Instead of being a somewhat limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are thought of as intimately linked to your overall wellness. We’re starting to consider the body as an interconnected environment in other words. Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily happen in isolation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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