Do you invest much time considering your nervous system? Most likely not all that regularly. As long as your body is working in the way that it should, you’ve no reason to consider how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending proper messages through the electrical corridors in your body. But when those nerves begin to misfire – that is when something goes wrong – you tend to pay a lot more attention to your nervous system.
There’s one particular disease, known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which can affect the nervous system on a pretty large scale, though the symptoms normally manifest mainly in the extremities. high-frequency hearing loss can also be the result of CMT according to some research.
Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease, What is it?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited disorders. The protective sheathing around the nerves fail to function properly due to a genetic condition.
This means that the impulses sent from your brain to those nerves (and from those nerves back to your brain) don’t progress all that well. Functionally, this can lead to both a loss in motor function and a loss of sensation.
A combination of genetic factors usually leads to the manifestation of symptoms, so CMT can be found in several variations. Symptoms of CMT normally begin in the feet and go up to the arms. And, oddly, among those who have CMT, there is a higher rate of occurrence of high-frequency hearing loss.
The Cochlear Nerve: A Link Between CMT and Loss of Hearing
There has always been an anecdotal connection between loss of hearing and CMT (which means that within the CMT culture everyone has heard other people talk about it). And it was hard to recognize the connection between loss of sensation in the legs and issues with the ears.
A scientific study firmly established the connection just recently when a group of scientists examined 79 people with CMT at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
The results were quite decisive. Almost everyone who has CMT passed their low and moderate frequency hearing exams with flying colors. But all of the participants showed loss of hearing when it came to the high-frequency sounds (usually across the moderate levels). Based on this study, it seems probable that CMT can at least be associated with high-frequency hearing loss.
What is The Cause of Hearing Loss And How Can it be Treated?
The link between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT could, at first, seem perplexing. Like every other part of your body relies on correctly functioning nerves. That also goes for your ears.
The hypothesis is, CMT affects the cochlear nerve so sounds in the high-frequency range aren’t able to be translated. Certain sounds, including some voices, will be hard to hear. Trying to hear voices in a crowded noisy room is particularly hard.
Hearing aids are commonly used to deal with this type of hearing loss. CMT has no renowned cure. Modern hearing aids can isolate the exact frequencies to amplify which can offer appreciable assistance in combating high-frequency hearing loss. The majority of modern hearing aids can also work well in loud environments.
Hearing Loss Can Have Several Causes
Beyond the unconfirmed hypothesis, it’s still not well understood what the connection between CMT and high-frequency hearing loss. But this type of hearing loss can be successfully managed with hearing aids. That’s why many individuals who have CMT will make time to get a consultation with a hearing care professional and get fitted for a custom hearing aid.
There are numerous causes for hearing loss symptoms. In many situations, loss of hearing is brought about by undesirable exposure to damaging noises. Blockages can be yet another cause. It also looks as if CMT is another possible cause.