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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 all of the animals and plants that rely on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. We might not recognize it but our body functions on very similar principals. That’s the reason why something which seems isolated, like hearing loss, can be connected to a wide variety of other diseases and ailments.

In a sense, that’s just more evidence of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. When something affects your hearing, it may also impact your brain. We call these situations comorbid, a name that is specialized and signifies when two conditions affect each other but don’t always have a cause and effect connection.

We can discover a lot about 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 signs of hearing loss for the past couple of months. You’ve been having a difficult time hearing what people are saying when you go out to eat. The volume of your television is constantly getting louder. And certain sounds sound so distant. At this point, the majority of people will set up an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the wise thing to do, actually).

Your hearing loss is connected to numerous health conditions whether you recognize it or not. Some of the health conditions that have documented comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease aren’t always linked. But at times hearing loss can be aggravated by cardiovascular disease. The reason for this is that trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear is one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease. Your hearing might suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your primary tool for balance. Vertigo and dizziness can be triggered by some types of hearing loss because they have a negative influence on the inner ear. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you age, falls can become significantly more dangerous.
  • Dementia: neglected hearing loss has been connected to a higher chance of dementia, though it’s uncertain what the root cause is. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Depression: a whole host of concerns can be caused by social isolation because of hearing loss, many of which are related to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study finds depression and anxiety have extremely high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Diabetes: additionally, your overall nervous system can be negatively influenced by diabetes (specifically in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be affected are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be wholly caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be multiplied because diabetes related nerve damage can cause you to be more susceptible to hearing loss caused by other factors.

What’s The Solution?

When you add all of those connected health conditions on top of each other, it can seem a bit scary. But it’s important to keep one thing in mind: managing your hearing loss can have enormous positive effects. Scientists and researchers know that if hearing loss is treated, the chance of dementia significantly lowers even though they don’t really understand exactly why dementia and hearing loss show up together to begin with.

So the best way to go, regardless of what comorbid condition you might be concerned about, is to have your hearing tested.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s the reason why more health care specialists are viewing hearing health with new eyes. Your ears are being considered as a part of your overall health profile rather than being a specific and limited issue. We’re starting to consider the body as an interrelated environment in other words. Hearing loss doesn’t always arise in isolation. So it’s relevant to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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