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

Your body is similar to an ecosystem. In the natural world, if there’s a problem with the pond, all of the fish and birds suffer the consequences; and all of the animals and plants that depend on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. The human body, often unbeknownst to us, works on very comparable methods of interconnectedness. That’s the reason why something that seems isolated, such as hearing loss, can be linked to a large number of other ailments and diseases.

In some respects, that’s just more proof of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. Your brain might also be impacted if something affects your hearing. These conditions are identified as comorbid, a name that is specialized and indicates when two ailments have an affect on each other but don’t always have a cause and effect relationship.

The disorders that are comorbid with hearing loss can teach us a lot regarding our bodies’ ecosystems.

Conditions Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been recognizing the signs of hearing loss for the past couple of months. It’s more difficult to follow discussions in restaurants. The volume of your television is constantly getting louder. And some sounds just feel a bit further away. At this stage, most people will make an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the wise thing to do, actually).

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your hearing loss is linked to numerous other health issues. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been reported with the following health conditions.

  • Depression: a whole host of concerns can be the result of social isolation because of hearing loss, many of which are related to your mental health. So it’s not surprising that study after study finds depression and anxiety have extremely high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been linked to a higher chance of dementia, although the root cause of that relationship is not clear. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by using hearing aids.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions are not necessarily interconnected. But at times hearing loss can be aggravated by cardiovascular disease. That’s because one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels in the inner ear. Your hearing may suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
  • Diabetes: likewise, diabetes can wreak havoc with your entire body’s nervous system (particularly 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 issues, often adding to your symptoms.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your primary tool for balance. There are some forms of hearing loss that can play havoc with your inner ear, causing dizziness and vertigo. Falls are more and more dangerous as you get older and falls can occur whenever there is a loss of balance

Is There Anything That You Can do?

When you add all of those connected health conditions on top of each other, it can seem a little intimidating. But it’s worthwhile to remember one thing: managing your hearing loss can have huge positive effects. Researchers and scientists know that if hearing loss is treated, the risk of dementia dramatically lowers although they don’t really understand precisely why dementia and hearing loss manifest together to begin with.

So the best way to go, no matter what comorbid condition you may be worried about, 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 manage hearing loss. Instead of being a rather limited and specific area of concern, your ears are thought of as intimately linked to your overall wellbeing. We’re starting to think about the body as an interconnected environment in other words. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated situation. So it’s more significant than ever that we keep your eye on the entirety, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.

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