Your body and an ecosystem are similar in some ways. In the natural world, if something happens to the pond, all of the birds and fish suffer the consequences; and when the birds disappear so too do all of the plants and animals that rely on those birds. We might not know it but our body operates on very similar principals. That’s the reason why something which seems to be isolated, like hearing loss, can be linked to a wide variety of other diseases and ailments.
This is, in a sense, evidence of the interdependence of your body and it’s similarity to an ecosystem. Your brain may also be affected if something affects your hearing. These situations are known as comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) name that demonstrates a link between two conditions without necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect relationship.
The conditions that are comorbid with hearing loss can tell us a lot regarding our bodies’ ecosystems.
Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Connected to it
So, let’s assume that you’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the last couple of months. It’s been challenging to follow along with conversations in restaurants. The volume of your television is getting louder and louder. And certain sounds seem so far away. At this stage, the majority of people will schedule an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the smart thing to do, actually).
Your hearing loss is linked to numerous health issues whether you recognize it or not. Some of the health conditions that have reported comorbidity with hearing loss include:
- Depression: social isolation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole host of issues, some of which relate to your mental health. So anxiety and depression, not surprisingly, have been found in several studies, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
- Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions aren’t necessarily interconnected. But at times hearing loss can be worsened by cardiovascular disease. That’s because one of the initial signs of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear. Your hearing might suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
- Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been connected to a higher chance of dementia, although the underlying cause of that relationship is unclear. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by using hearing aids.
- Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can wreak havoc with your overall body’s nervous system (particularly in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be affected are the nerves in the ear. This damage can cause hearing loss all on its own. But your symptoms can be compounded because diabetes related nerve damage can cause you to be more prone to hearing loss from other factors.
- Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your primary tool for balance. Vertigo and dizziness can be caused by some types of hearing loss because they have a damaging affect on the inner ear. Falls are more and more dangerous as you age and falls can happen whenever there is a loss of balance
Is There Anything That Can be Done?
It can seem a little frightening when all those health conditions get added together. But it’s important to remember one thing: huge positive impact can be gained by managing your hearing loss. Researchers and scientists know that if hearing loss is treated, the chance of dementia significantly lowers even though they don’t really understand exactly why hearing loss and dementia manifest together in the first place.
So the best course of action, regardless of what comorbid condition you may be worried about, is to have your hearing checked.
Part of an Ecosystem
That’s the reason why more medical professionals are looking at hearing health with fresh eyes. Your ears are being viewed as a part of your general health profile rather than being a specific and limited issue. In a nutshell, we’re starting to perceive the body more like an interconnected ecosystem. Hearing loss doesn’t always arise in isolation. So it’s more significant than ever that we address the entirety, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.