Your body and an ecosystem have some similarities. In nature, all of the fish and birds will suffer if something happens to the pond; and when the birds go away so too do all of the plants and animals that depend on those birds. The human body, commonly unbeknownst to us, operates on very comparable methods of interconnection. That’s why a large number of illnesses can be linked to something which at first seems so isolated like hearing loss.
In a sense, that’s simply more evidence of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. Your brain may also be impacted if something affects your hearing. We call these situations comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) term that illustrates a link between two conditions without necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect relationship.
The conditions that are comorbid with hearing loss can give us lots of information concerning our bodies’ ecosystems.
Hearing Loss And The Disorders That Are Associated With it
So, let’s assume that you’ve been recognizing the signs of hearing loss for the past several months. You’ve been having a hard time making out conversation when you go out to eat. You’ve been turning up the volume on your tv. And certain sounds sound so far away. When this is the situation, most people will schedule an appointment with a hearing professional (this is the smart thing to do, actually).
Whether you’re aware of it or not, your hearing loss is connected to numerous other health problems. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been reported with the following health conditions.
- Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your main tool for balance. There are some types of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, leading to dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, naturally, cause falls, and as you get older, falls can become significantly more dangerous.
- Diabetes: likewise, diabetes can have a negative affect on your nervous system all over your body (particularly in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are particularly likely to be affected. Hearing loss can be wholly caused by this damage. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more vulnerable to hearing loss caused by other factors, often compounding your symptoms.
- Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been linked to a higher chance of dementia, although the underlying cause of that relationship is unclear. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be reduced, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
- Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease aren’t always linked. 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. As that trauma gets worse, your hearing may suffer as an outcome.
- Depression: a whole host of problems can be the consequence of social isolation due to hearing loss, many of which are related to your mental health. So it’s no surprise that study after study confirms anxiety and depression have really high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
What’s The Answer?
When you stack all of those related health conditions on top of each other, it can look a bit scary. But it’s worthwhile to remember one thing: treating your hearing loss can have huge positive effects. Scientists and researchers recognize that if hearing loss is managed, the risk of dementia dramatically lowers although they don’t really know precisely why hearing loss and dementia show up together to begin with.
So the best course of action, regardless of what comorbid condition you may be worried about, is to get your hearing tested.
Part of an Ecosystem
This is why health care professionals are reconsidering the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Your ears are being regarded as a part of your total health profile rather than being a targeted and limited issue. In a nutshell, we’re starting to perceive the body more like an interrelated ecosystem. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated scenario. So it’s more significant than ever that we address the totality, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.