Your body and an ecosystem are similar in some ways. In the natural world, if something happens to the pond, all of the fish and birds 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 recognize it but our body functions on very similar principals. That’s the reason why a large number of afflictions can be connected to something that at first seems so isolated like hearing loss.
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 situations comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) name that illustrates a connection between two conditions without necessarily articulating a cause-and-effect relationship.
The conditions that are comorbid with hearing loss can give us lots of information about our bodies’ ecosystems.
Hearing Loss And The Conditions That Are Linked to it
So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the signs of hearing loss for the past couple of months. It’s been challenging to follow along with conversations in restaurants. The volume of your television is constantly getting louder. And certain sounds just seem a little further away. At this stage, most 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 linked to a number of other health problems. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been reported with the following health ailments.
- Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can wreak havoc with your nervous system all over your body (specifically in your extremities). one of the areas particularly likely to be damaged are the nerves in the ear. This damage can cause loss of hearing all on its own. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more vulnerable to hearing loss caused by other issues, often compounding your symptoms.
- Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been connected to a higher risk of dementia, although the root cause of that relationship is not clear. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by using hearing aids.
- Depression: a whole host of concerns can be the consequence of social isolation because of hearing loss, many of which relate to your mental health. So depression and anxiety, not surprisingly, have been shown in several studies, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
- Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your principal tool for balance. There are some types of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, leading to dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, naturally, cause falls, and as you age, falls can become increasingly dangerous.
- Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease aren’t always linked. But at times hearing loss can be aggravated by cardiovascular disease. That’s because one of the initial symptoms of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear. As that trauma escalates, your hearing might suffer as a result.
Is There Anything That You Can do?
When you add all of those related health conditions added together, it can look a little intimidating. But one thing should be kept in mind: managing your hearing loss can have enormous positive influences. Though researchers and scientists don’t exactly know, for instance, why hearing loss and dementia show up together so often, they do know that managing hearing loss can significantly lower your risk of dementia.
So the best course of action, no matter what comorbid condition you may be concerned about, is to have 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 targeted area of concern, your ears are seen as closely linked to your general wellbeing. In other words, we’re starting to perceive the body more like an interconnected environment. Hearing loss isn’t always an isolated scenario. So it’s significant to pay attention to your health as a whole.