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

Your body and an ecosystem have some similarities. In the natural world, if there’s a problem with the pond, all of the fish and birds suffer the consequences; and when the birds disappear so too do all of the animals and plants that depend on those birds. We might not know it but our body functions on very similar principals. That’s the reason why something that seems to be isolated, like hearing loss, can be connected to a wide variety of other diseases and ailments.

This is, in a sense, evidence of the interdependence of your body and it’s resemblance to an ecosystem. When something affects your hearing, it might also influence your brain. We call these circumstances comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) name that demonstrates a link between two disorders without necessarily articulating a cause-and-effect connection.

We can find out a lot regarding our bodies’ ecosystem by understanding conditions that are comorbid with hearing loss.

Hearing Loss And The Conditions That Are Connected to it

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past several months. It’s more difficult to follow along with discussions in restaurants. You’ve been cranking up the volume on your tv. And some sounds just seem a bit further away. It would be a smart choice at this point to make an appointment with a hearing professional.

Whether you recognize it or not, your hearing loss is linked to numerous other health issues. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been reported with the following health problems.

  • Depression: a whole host of problems can be the consequence of social isolation due to hearing loss, many of which are related to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study confirms depression and anxiety have very high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been connected to a higher risk of dementia, though it’s unclear what the base cause is. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can wreak havoc with your entire body’s nervous system (particularly in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be harmed are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be fully caused by this damage. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more susceptible to hearing loss caused by other issues, often adding to your symptoms.
  • Cardiovascular disease: occasionally hearing loss doesn’t have anything to connect it with cardiovascular disease. In other instances, cardiovascular problems can make you more susceptible to hearing loss. That’s because one of the first 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.
  • Vertigo and falls: your main tool for balance is your inner ear. There are some forms of hearing loss that can play havoc with your inner ear, resulting in dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you age, falls will become increasingly hazardous.

Is There Anything That You Can do?

It can seem a bit frightening when you add all those health conditions together. But it’s important to keep one thing in mind: dealing with your hearing loss can have tremendous positive impacts. Researchers and scientists recognize that if hearing loss is treated, the chance of dementia substantially lowers even though they don’t really understand exactly why dementia and hearing loss manifest together to begin with.

So the best way to go, regardless of what comorbid condition you may be worried about, is to get your hearing examined.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is why health care specialists are rethinking the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Instead of being a somewhat limited and specific area of concern, your ears are viewed as intimately linked to your general wellbeing. In a nutshell, we’re beginning to view the body more like an interrelated environment. Hearing loss isn’t always an isolated scenario. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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