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

Your body is similar to an ecosystem. In nature, all of the fish and birds will be affected if something happens to the pond; and all of the plants and animals that depend on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. The human body, often unbeknownst to us, works on very comparable principles of interconnection. That’s the reason why a wide variety of illnesses can be linked to something which at first appears so isolated like hearing loss.

In a sense, that’s simply more evidence of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. When something affects your hearing, it may also impact your brain. We call these situations comorbid, a name that is specialized and signifies when two ailments affect each other but don’t necessarily have a cause and effect connection.

The disorders that are comorbid with hearing loss can tell us a lot about our bodies’ ecosystems.

Hearing Loss And The Conditions That Are Linked to it

So, let’s assume that you’ve been recognizing the signs of hearing loss for the last couple of months. You’ve been having a difficult time hearing conversation when you go out for a bite. You’ve been turning the volume up on your television. And certain sounds just feel a little more distant. It would be a smart choice at this point to make an appointment with a hearing professional.

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

  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your main tool for balance. Vertigo and dizziness can be created by some types of hearing loss because they have a damaging influence on the inner ear. Any loss of balance can, naturally, cause falls, and as you age, falls can become significantly more hazardous.
  • Diabetes: likewise, diabetes can wreak havoc with your entire body’s nervous system (particularly in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are especially likely to be harmed. This damage can cause loss of hearing all on its own. But your symptoms can be compounded because diabetes related nerve damage can make you more susceptible to hearing loss from other factors.
  • Depression: a whole host of problems can be the result of social isolation due to hearing loss, some of which relate 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.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions are not necessarily connected. In other situations, cardiovascular issues can make you more susceptible to hearing loss. The reason for this is that trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear is one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease. As that trauma escalates, your hearing might suffer as a result.
  • Dementia: a higher chance of dementia has been connected to hearing loss, though it’s unclear what the base cause is. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by using hearing aids.

What Can You Do?

It can seem a little intimidating when you add all those health conditions together. But it’s worthwhile to remember one thing: managing your hearing loss can have huge positive impacts. Scientists and researchers recognize that if hearing loss is treated, the risk of dementia significantly lowers although they don’t really know exactly why hearing loss and dementia manifest together in the first place.

So the best course of action, regardless of what comorbid condition you might be concerned about, is to have your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is the reason why health care professionals are rethinking the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Instead of being a somewhat limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are thought of as intimately connected to your general wellness. In a nutshell, we’re beginning to view the body more like an interrelated ecosystem. Hearing loss doesn’t always develop in isolation. So it’s more important than ever that we address the totality, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.

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