Your body and an ecosystem are similar in some ways. In nature, all of the fish and birds will be affected if something goes wrong with the pond; and when the birds disappear so too do all of the plants and animals that rely on those birds. We might not recognize it but our body works on very similar principals. That’s why something which seems to be isolated, like hearing loss, can be connected to a large number of other ailments and diseases.
In some respects, that’s just more proof of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. When something affects your hearing, it might also influence your brain. These conditions are known as comorbid, a term that is specialized and indicates when two ailments have an affect on each other but don’t necessarily have a cause and effect connection.
We can discover a lot about our bodies’ ecosystem by understanding disorders that are comorbid with hearing loss.
Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Connected to it
So, let’s suppose that you’ve been recognizing the signs of hearing loss for the last couple of months. It’s more difficult to follow along with conversations in restaurants. Your television’s volume is getting louder and louder. And some sounds sound so distant. When this is the situation, most people will schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the smart thing to do, actually).
Whether you recognize it or not, your hearing loss is linked to a number of other health issues. Some of the health ailments that have reported comorbidity with hearing loss include:
- Depression: social isolation associated with hearing loss can cause a whole range of issues, some of which relate to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study confirms anxiety and depression have very high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
- Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been connected to a higher risk of dementia, although the base cause of that relationship is unclear. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
- Vertigo and falls: your principal tool for balance is your inner ear. Vertigo and dizziness can be created by some types of hearing loss because they have a negative influence on the inner ear. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you age, falls will become increasingly dangerous.
- Diabetes: similarly, your whole nervous system can be negatively influenced by diabetes (specifically in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are especially likely to be damaged. This damage can cause loss of hearing by itself. But your symptoms can be multiplied because diabetes related nerve damage can make you more prone to hearing loss from other factors.
- Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions are not always connected. But sometimes 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 symptoms of cardiovascular disease. As that trauma gets worse, your hearing may suffer as a result.
Is There Anything That Can be Done?
When you add all of those related health conditions added together, it can look a bit scary. But it’s important to keep one thing in mind: treating your hearing loss can have enormous positive impacts. Even though scientists and researchers don’t really know, for example, why dementia and hearing loss show up together so often, they do know that dealing with hearing loss can substantially lower your risk of dementia.
So the best course of action, regardless of what comorbid condition you may be concerned about, is to have your hearing examined.
Part of an Ecosystem
That’s why more health care specialists are viewing hearing health with new eyes. Your ears are being viewed as a part of your overall health profile instead of being a specific and limited concern. We’re starting to consider the body as an interconnected environment in other words. Hearing loss doesn’t always arise in isolation. So it’s more significant than ever that we keep your eye on the entirety, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.