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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 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, frequently unbeknownst to us, functions on very similar principles of interconnectedness. That’s why something that seems to be isolated, like hearing loss, can be linked to a large number of other diseases and ailments.

In some respects, that’s just more proof of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. Your brain may also be affected if something affects your hearing. These situations are identified as comorbid, a name that is specialized and signifies when two ailments have an affect on each other but don’t necessarily have a cause and effect relationship.

We can learn a lot concerning our bodies’ ecosystem by comprehending ailments that are comorbid with hearing loss.

Diseases Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s assume that you’ve been noticing the signs of hearing loss for the past few months. You’ve been having a difficult time hearing conversation when you go out to eat. You’ve been cranking the volume up on your television. And some sounds just seem a little more distant. At this stage, the majority of people will set up an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the smart thing to do, actually).

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your hearing loss is connected to numerous other health conditions. Some of the health conditions that have reported comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • 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 damaging impact on the inner ear. Falls are more and more dangerous as you age and falls can occur whenever there is a loss of balance
  • Cardiovascular disease: sometimes hearing loss has nothing to connect it with cardiovascular conditions. But sometimes hearing loss can be intensified by cardiovascular disease. That’s because one of the initial signs of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear. As that trauma gets worse, your hearing could suffer as a result.
  • Depression: social isolation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole host of issues, some of which relate to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study confirms depression and anxiety have extremely high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Diabetes: likewise, your overall nervous system can be influenced in a negative way by diabetes (particularly in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be harmed 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 from other factors.
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been connected to a higher risk of dementia, although it’s uncertain what the base cause is. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by using hearing aids.

What’s The Answer?

When you stack all of those connected health conditions on top of each other, it can look a little intimidating. But it’s worthwhile to remember one thing: treating your hearing loss can have tremendous positive influences. Researchers and scientists recognize that if hearing loss is treated, the chance of dementia significantly lowers although they don’t really understand precisely why dementia and hearing loss show up together to begin with.

So no matter 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 viewing hearing health with fresh eyes. Your ears are being viewed as a part of your overall health profile rather than being a specific and limited issue. We’re beginning to think about the body as an interrelated environment in other words. Hearing loss doesn’t always happen in isolation. So it’s more relevant than ever that we pay attention to the totality, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.

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