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

Your body is similar to an ecosystem. 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. The human body, commonly unbeknownst to us, functions on very comparable principles of interconnectedness. That’s why something that appears isolated, such as hearing loss, can be linked to a wide variety of other ailments and diseases.

In a way, that’s simply more evidence of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. Your brain may also be affected if something affects your hearing. We call these circumstances comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) label that demonstrates a connection between two disorders while not necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect relationship.

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

Hearing Loss And The Disorders 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 conversations in restaurants. You’ve been turning the volume up on your television. And some sounds just feel a little more distant. It would be a good choice at this point to set up an appointment with a hearing professional.

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

  • Diabetes: likewise, diabetes can have a negative affect on your overall body’s nervous system (specifically in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are especially likely to be affected. This damage can cause hearing loss by itself. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more prone to hearing loss caused by other factors, often compounding your symptoms.
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been linked to a higher chance of dementia, although it’s unclear what the root cause is. 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 caused by social isolation because of hearing loss, many of which relate to your mental health. So anxiety and depression, not surprisingly, have been shown in several studies, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
  • Cardiovascular disease: occasionally hearing loss has nothing to do with cardiovascular conditions. In other cases, cardiovascular problems can make you more subject 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 escalates, your hearing might suffer as an outcome.
  • Vertigo and falls: your primary tool for balance is your inner ear. There are some forms of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, resulting in dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, naturally, cause falls, and as you age, falls will become significantly more dangerous.

Is There Anything That You Can do?

When you add all of those related health conditions added together, it can look a little scary. But it’s important to remember one thing: huge positive impact can be gained by dealing with your hearing loss. Though researchers and scientists don’t exactly know, for instance, why hearing loss and dementia so often show up together, they do know that treating hearing loss can dramatically lower your risk of dementia.

So no matter what your comorbid condition might be, the best way to go is to have your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s the reason why more health care specialists are viewing hearing health with new eyes. Instead of being a rather limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are seen as intimately linked to your general wellness. We’re beginning to consider the body as an interconnected environment in other words. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated scenario. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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