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

Your body and an ecosystem are similar in some ways. In nature, if something happens to the pond, all of the fish and birds are impacted as well; and when the birds go away so too do all of the animals and plants that depend on those birds. We may not know it but our body works on very similar principals. That’s why a large number of conditions can be connected to something which at first seems so isolated like hearing loss.

In a sense, that’s just more proof of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. When something affects your hearing, it may also influence your brain. We call these conditions comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) label that illustrates a connection between two disorders while not necessarily articulating a cause-and-effect connection.

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

Hearing Loss And The Conditions That Are Associated With it

So, let’s assume that you’ve been noticing the signs of hearing loss for the past couple of months. It’s been challenging to follow discussions in restaurants. You’ve been cranking up the volume on your tv. And certain sounds seem so distant. It would be a smart choice at this point to make an appointment with a hearing professional.

Your hearing loss is linked to a number of health problems whether you recognize it or not. Some of the health ailments that have reported comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your main tool for balance. There are some forms of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, leading to dizziness and vertigo. Falls are more and more dangerous as you get older and falls can occur whenever there is a loss of balance
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions are not necessarily connected. In other situations, cardiovascular problems can make you more subject to hearing loss. That’s because one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels in the inner ear. Your hearing might suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
  • Diabetes: likewise, diabetes can have a negative affect on your entire body’s nervous system (specifically in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are particularly likely to be affected. Hearing loss can be fully caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be compounded because diabetes related nerve damage can make you more prone to hearing loss from other factors.
  • Depression: a whole range 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 study after study, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been connected to a higher chance of dementia, though it’s uncertain what the root cause is. Research reveals that using a hearing aid can help slow down cognitive decline and lower a lot of these dementia concerns.

What’s The Answer?

When you add all of those related health conditions added together, it can look a little scary. But it’s important to keep one thing in mind: huge positive impact can be gained by dealing with your hearing loss. Even though researchers and scientists don’t exactly know, for instance, why dementia and hearing loss 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 may be, the best way to go is to have your hearing examined.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is the reason why health care professionals are reconsidering the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Instead of being a somewhat limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are thought of as closely connected to your general wellbeing. In other words, we’re beginning to view the body more like an interrelated environment. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated scenario. So it’s relevant to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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