Your body is similar to an ecosystem. In nature, if there’s a problem with the pond, all of the birds and fish are impacted as well; and when the birds disappear so too do all of the plants and animals that rely on those birds. We might not realize it but our body functions on very similar principals. That’s the reason why a wide variety of afflictions can be linked to something which at first seems so isolated like hearing loss.
In a way, that’s simply more evidence of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. Your brain might also be impacted if something affects your hearing. We call these circumstances comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) term that demonstrates a connection between two conditions while not necessarily articulating a cause-and-effect connection.
The conditions that are comorbid with hearing loss can teach us a lot about our bodies’ ecosystems.
Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Associated With it
So, let’s suppose that you’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past 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 some sounds seem so far away. When this is the situation, most people will make an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the wise thing to do, actually).
Your hearing loss is connected to a number of health issues whether your aware of it or not. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been reported with the following health problems.
- Diabetes: likewise, your overall nervous system can be influenced in a negative way by diabetes (specifically in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be damaged are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be entirely caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be multiplied because diabetes related nerve damage can make you more prone to hearing loss caused by other factors.
- Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your primary tool for balance. There are some forms of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, leading to dizziness and vertigo. Falls are more and more dangerous as you age and falls can occur whenever someone loses their balance
- Cardiovascular disease: on occasion hearing loss doesn’t have anything to connect it with cardiovascular conditions. But at times hearing loss can be intensified by cardiovascular disease. The explanation for this is that trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear is one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease. Your hearing could suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
- Depression: social separation brought on by 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 found in study after study, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
- Dementia: a higher chance of dementia has been linked to hearing loss, although it’s not clear what the base cause is. Research suggests that using a hearing aid can help impede cognitive decline and lower many of these dementia concerns.
What’s The Solution?
It can seem a bit intimidating when you add all those health conditions together. But one thing should be kept in mind: dealing with your hearing loss can have tremendous positive impacts. Though researchers and scientists don’t really know, for example, why hearing loss and dementia show up together so often, they do know that dealing with hearing loss can significantly lower your dementia risks.
So regardless of what your comorbid condition may be, the best course of action is to get your hearing tested.
Part of an Ecosystem
This is why health care professionals are rethinking the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Your ears are being considered as a part of your total health profile instead of being a targeted and limited issue. In a nutshell, we’re beginning to perceive the body more like an interrelated ecosystem. Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily happen in isolation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.