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

Your body and an ecosystem have some similarities. In the natural world, if there’s a problem with the pond, all of the fish and birds are impacted as well; and all of the plants and animals 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 isolated, such as hearing loss, can be linked to a wide variety of other ailments and diseases.

This is, in a sense, evidence of the interdependence of your body and it’s similarity to an ecosystem. When something affects your hearing, it might also impact your brain. We call these circumstances comorbid, a name that is specialized and indicates when two conditions have an affect on each other but don’t necessarily have a cause and effect connection.

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

Hearing Loss And The Conditions That Are Linked to it

So, let’s assume that you’ve been noticing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past several months. You’ve been having a tough time hearing what people are saying when you go out for a bite. You’ve been cranking up the volume on your tv. And some sounds seem so distant. It would be a good choice at this point to schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist.

Your hearing loss is connected to several health conditions whether you recognize it or not. Some of the health conditions that have documented comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your primary tool for balance. Vertigo and dizziness can be triggered by some types of hearing loss because they have a negative impact on the inner ear. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you age, falls will become significantly more hazardous.
  • Dementia: a higher chance of dementia has been associated with hearing loss, although the root cause of that relationship is unclear. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Diabetes: similarly, your overall nervous system can be negatively influenced by diabetes (especially in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are especially likely to be damaged. This damage can cause loss of hearing all on its own. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more susceptible to hearing loss caused by other issues, often adding to your symptoms.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions are not always linked. But sometimes hearing loss can be worsened by cardiovascular disease. That’s because one of the first symptoms of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels in the inner ear. As that trauma escalates, your hearing may suffer as an outcome.
  • Depression: social isolation associated with hearing loss can cause a whole range of concerns, 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 related health conditions added together, it can seem a little scary. But one thing should be kept in mind: enormous positive impact can be gained by dealing with your hearing loss. Scientists and researchers recognize that if hearing loss is treated, the risk of dementia dramatically lowers even though they don’t really understand exactly why hearing loss and dementia manifest together in the first place.

So the best way to go, regardless of what comorbid condition you may be worried about, is to have your hearing tested.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is why health care specialists are reconsidering the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Your ears are being viewed as a part of your overall health profile rather than being a targeted and limited concern. We’re beginning to consider the body as an interrelated environment in other words. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated situation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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