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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, all of the fish and birds will suffer if something happens to the pond; and all of the plants and animals that rely on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. The human body, frequently unbeknownst to us, functions on very similar principles of interconnection. That’s the reason why a large number of afflictions can be linked to something that at first appears so isolated like hearing loss.

In a way, that’s simply more proof of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. Your brain might also be impacted if something affects your hearing. These situations are identified as comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) term that illustrates a link between two conditions while not necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect connection.

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

Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Associated With it

So, let’s assume that you’ve been noticing the signs of hearing loss for the last several months. It’s been challenging to follow along with 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 specialist.

Whether you recognize it or not, your hearing loss is connected to several other health conditions. Some of the health ailments that have documented comorbidity with hearing loss include:

  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease are not necessarily connected. In other cases, cardiovascular issues can make you more susceptible to hearing loss. That’s because one of the first symptoms of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear. Your hearing may suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
  • Depression: a whole range of problems can be the consequence of social isolation due to hearing loss, some of which relate to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study finds anxiety and depression have really high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your main tool for balance. There are some types of hearing loss that can play havoc with your inner ear, causing dizziness and vertigo. Falls are progressively more dangerous as you age and falls can occur whenever someone loses their balance
  • Diabetes: additionally, your whole nervous system can be negatively influenced by diabetes (specifically in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be affected are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be fully caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be compounded because diabetes related nerve damage can cause you to be more susceptible to hearing loss caused by other factors.
  • Dementia: a higher risk of dementia has been associated with hearing loss, though it’s unclear what the base cause is. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.

What Can You Do?

When you add all of those connected health conditions on top of each other, it can look a little scary. But it’s worthwhile to remember one thing: huge positive impact can be gained by treating your hearing loss. Though scientists and researchers don’t exactly 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 the best course of action, regardless of what comorbid condition you may be concerned about, is to get your hearing tested.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s why more medical specialists are looking at hearing health with new eyes. Instead of being a rather limited and specific area of concern, your ears are seen as closely linked to your general wellbeing. In other words, we’re beginning to view the body more like an interconnected environment. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated situation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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