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

Your body is similar to an ecosystem. In nature, all of the birds and fish will suffer if something goes wrong with the pond; and all of the animals and plants that depend on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. We may not know it but our body functions on very comparable principals. That’s the reason why a wide variety of diseases can be linked to something which at first appears so isolated like hearing loss.

This is, in a way, proof of the interdependence of your body and it’s similarity to an ecosystem. Your brain might also be affected if something affects your hearing. We call these conditions comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) name that illustrates a link between two disorders without necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect relationship.

We can find out a lot about our bodies’ ecosystem by comprehending disorders that are comorbid with hearing loss.

Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Related to it

So, let’s assume that you’ve been noticing the symptoms of hearing loss for the last several months. It’s more difficult to follow discussions in restaurants. Your television’s volume is getting louder and louder. And some sounds sound so distant. At this point, most people will schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the practical thing to do, actually).

Whether you recognize it or not, your hearing loss is connected to several other health problems. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been documented with the following health problems.

  • Vertigo and falls: your primary tool for balance is your inner ear. Vertigo and dizziness can be caused by some types of hearing loss because they have a negative impact on the inner ear. Falls are progressively more dangerous as you age and falls can happen whenever there is a loss of balance
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions are not necessarily interconnected. In other cases, cardiovascular problems can make you more susceptible to hearing loss. 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 might suffer as an outcome.
  • Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can have a negative affect on your nervous system all over your body (specifically in your extremities). one of the areas particularly likely to be affected are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be entirely caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be compounded because diabetes related nerve damage can make you more susceptible to hearing loss caused by other factors.
  • Dementia: neglected hearing loss has been linked to a higher risk of dementia, although the base cause of that relationship is uncertain. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Depression: social isolation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole host of problems, some 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.

Is There Anything That Can be Done?

It can seem a little frightening when you add all those health conditions together. But it’s important to remember one thing: managing your hearing loss can have enormous positive influences. While scientists and researchers don’t exactly know, for instance, why hearing loss and dementia so often show up together, they do know that treating hearing loss can significantly lower your dementia risks.

So regardless of what your comorbid condition might be, the best course of action is to get your hearing examined.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s the reason why more health care professionals are looking at hearing health with new eyes. Instead of being a rather limited and specific area of concern, your ears are viewed as closely linked to your overall wellbeing. We’re starting to think about the body as an interrelated environment in other words. Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily arise in isolation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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