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Oklahoma City, OK

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

Your body and an ecosystem have some similarities. In nature, if something happens to 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 depend on those birds. We might not know it but our body functions on very similar principals. That’s why a large number of diseases can be connected to something that 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 may also be impacted if something affects your hearing. These conditions are called comorbid, a name that is specialized and signifies when two conditions have an affect on each other but don’t necessarily have a cause and effect relationship.

The disorders that are comorbid with hearing loss can tell us a lot concerning our bodies’ ecosystems.

Hearing Loss And The Conditions That Are Associated With it

So, let’s assume that you’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past few months. It’s been challenging to follow discussions in restaurants. You’ve been cranking the volume up on your tv. And some sounds just seem a little more distant. At this point, the majority of people will make an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the smart thing to do, actually).

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

  • Depression: a whole range of problems can be the consequence of social isolation because of hearing loss, many of which relate to your mental health. So it’s not surprising that study after study finds depression and anxiety have very high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your main tool for balance. There are some types of hearing loss that can play havoc with your inner ear, leading to dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you get older, falls can become significantly more dangerous.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease aren’t necessarily linked. In other situations, cardiovascular problems can make you more susceptible to hearing loss. The explanation for this is that trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear is one of the first symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Your hearing might suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
  • Diabetes: likewise, diabetes can have a negative affect on your nervous system all over your body (especially in your extremities). one of the areas especially 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 cause you to be more prone to hearing loss caused by other factors.
  • Dementia: a higher chance of dementia has been linked to hearing loss, although the base cause of that relationship is unclear. Research indicates that wearing a hearing aid can help slow down cognitive decline and decrease many of these dementia concerns.

What Can You Do?

When you stack all of those related health conditions added together, it can seem a bit intimidating. But it’s worthwhile to remember one thing: huge positive affect can be gained by managing your hearing loss. Researchers and scientists understand that if hearing loss is managed, the chance of dementia substantially lowers although they don’t really understand exactly why hearing loss and dementia manifest together in the first place.

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

Part of an Ecosystem

This is why health care professionals are reconsidering the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Instead of being a rather limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are seen as closely connected to your overall wellness. In a nutshell, we’re starting to perceive the body more like an interconnected environment. Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily develop in isolation. So it’s more relevant than ever that we address the entirety, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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