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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 fish and birds will be affected if something happens to the pond; and when the birds go away so too do all of the plants and animals that depend on those birds. We might not know it but our body works on very comparable principals. That’s the reason why something which seems isolated, such as hearing loss, can be connected to a wide variety of other ailments and diseases.

In some respects, that’s just more proof of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. Your brain may also be impacted if something affects your hearing. We call these situations comorbid, a name that is specialized and indicates when two ailments have an affect on each other but don’t necessarily have a cause and effect connection.

The conditions that are comorbid with hearing loss can give us lots of information concerning our bodies’ ecosystems.

Hearing Loss And The Conditions That Are Linked to it

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the last couple of months. You’ve been having a difficult time hearing what people are saying when you go out to eat. You’ve been turning the volume up on your tv. And some sounds seem so far away. At this stage, most people will make an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the smart thing to do, actually).

Your hearing loss is linked to several health problems whether you recognize it or not. Some of the health problems that have reported comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Diabetes: likewise, your overall nervous system can be influenced in a negative way by diabetes (especially in your extremities). one of the areas particularly likely to be affected are the nerves in the ear. This damage can cause hearing loss all on its own. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more vulnerable to hearing loss caused by other issues, often adding to your symptoms.
  • Dementia: neglected hearing loss has been linked to a higher risk of dementia, although it’s not clear what the root cause is. Research indicates that wearing a hearing aid can help impede cognitive decline and decrease many of these dementia risks.
  • Vertigo and falls: your main tool for balance is your inner ear. Vertigo and dizziness can be caused by some types of hearing loss because they have a negative influence on the inner ear. Falls are progressively more dangerous as you get older and falls can happen whenever there is a loss of balance
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease aren’t always linked. In other cases, cardiovascular issues can make you more susceptible to hearing loss. That’s because one of the initial signs of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels in the inner ear. As that trauma gets worse, your hearing might suffer as a result.
  • Depression: a whole host of concerns can be the result of social isolation due to hearing loss, many 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?

When you add all of those related health conditions added together, it can look a bit scary. But one thing should be kept in mind: managing your hearing loss can have enormous positive effects. Researchers and scientists know that if hearing loss is managed, the chance of dementia significantly lowers even though they don’t really understand precisely why dementia and hearing loss show up together in the first place.

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

Part of an Ecosystem

This is the reason why health care professionals are rethinking the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Instead of being a somewhat limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are thought of as closely connected to your overall wellness. In other words, we’re beginning to perceive the body more like an interrelated environment. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated situation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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