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

Your body and an ecosystem are similar in some ways. In nature, all of the birds and fish will suffer if something happens to the pond; and all of the plants and animals that depend on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. We may not realize it but our body operates on very comparable principals. That’s the reason why something which seems isolated, like hearing loss, can be linked to a large number of other diseases and ailments.

In a way, that’s simply more proof of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. Your brain might also be affected if something affects your hearing. These conditions are identified as comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) term that illustrates a link 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 regarding our bodies’ ecosystems.

Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Associated With it

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past several months. You’ve been having a hard time hearing conversation when you go out for a bite. You’ve been cranking up the volume on your television. And certain sounds seem so far away. It would be a smart choice at this point to set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.

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 problems.

  • Depression: social isolation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole host of problems, some of which are related to your mental health. So anxiety and depression, not surprisingly, have been found in study after study, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
  • Cardiovascular disease: sometimes hearing loss has nothing to do with cardiovascular disease. In other situations, cardiovascular issues can make you more subject to hearing loss. The explanation for this is that trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear is one of the first symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Your hearing could suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
  • Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can wreak havoc with your nervous system all over your body (especially in your extremities). one of the areas particularly likely to be affected are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be entirely caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be compounded because diabetes related nerve damage can cause you to be more prone to hearing loss caused by other factors.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your principal tool for balance. There are some forms of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, leading to dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you age, falls can become increasingly dangerous.
  • Dementia: a higher risk of dementia has been linked to hearing loss, although it’s uncertain what the root cause is. Research suggests that wearing a hearing aid can help impede cognitive decline and lower many of these dementia concerns.

What Can You Do?

It can seem a little intimidating when you add all those health conditions together. But it’s worthwhile to remember one thing: managing your hearing loss can have huge positive effects. Even though researchers and scientists don’t really know, for example, why hearing loss and dementia show up together so often, they do know that dealing with hearing loss can significantly lower your risk of dementia.

So regardless of what your comorbid condition may be, the best way to go is to get your hearing examined.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is why health care professionals are reconsidering the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Instead of being a somewhat limited and specific area of concern, your ears are seen as closely linked to your overall wellness. In a nutshell, we’re starting to view the body more like an interconnected environment. Hearing loss doesn’t always develop in isolation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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