Hearing Associates of Libertyville, IL

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

Your body is a lot like an ecosystem. In the natural world, if something happens to the pond, all of the fish and birds suffer the consequences; and when the birds go away so too do all of the animals and plants that rely on those birds. The human body, often unbeknownst to us, functions on very similar principles of interconnectedness. That’s the reason why something that seems isolated, like hearing loss, can be connected to a large number 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 might also be affected if something affects your hearing. We call these circumstances comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) label that illustrates a connection between two disorders while not necessarily articulating a cause-and-effect connection.

We can find out a lot regarding our bodies’ ecosystem by comprehending disorders that are comorbid with hearing loss.

Diseases Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the signs of hearing loss for the last several months. It’s more difficult to follow along with conversations in restaurants. The volume of your television is getting louder and louder. And certain sounds just seem a little more distant. It would be a smart choice at this point to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional.

Your hearing loss is linked to several health conditions whether you recognize it or not. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been reported with the following health conditions.

  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease aren’t always connected. In other situations, cardiovascular problems can make you more subject to hearing loss. That’s because one of the initial symptoms of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels in the inner ear. Your hearing could suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
  • Diabetes: likewise, your whole nervous system can be negatively influenced by diabetes (especially in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are especially likely to be harmed. 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.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your primary tool for balance. Vertigo and dizziness can be created by some types of hearing loss because they have a damaging affect on the inner ear. Any loss of balance can, naturally, cause falls, and as you age, falls can become increasingly dangerous.
  • Depression: a whole host of concerns can be the result of social isolation because of hearing loss, many of which are related to your mental health. So it’s not surprising that study after study finds depression and anxiety have extremely high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Dementia: neglected hearing loss has been linked to a higher chance of dementia, though it’s uncertain what the base cause is. Research indicates that using a hearing aid can help impede cognitive decline and lower many of these dementia concerns.

What’s The Solution?

It can seem a bit scary when all those health conditions get added together. But it’s important to keep one thing in mind: enormous positive affect can be gained by dealing with your hearing loss. Though researchers and scientists don’t really know, for example, why hearing loss and dementia show up together so often, they do know that managing hearing loss can significantly lower your dementia risks.

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

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 specific area of concern, your ears are thought of as closely connected to your overall wellbeing. In a nutshell, we’re starting to view the body more like an interrelated environment. Hearing loss doesn’t always develop in isolation. So it’s more important than ever that we keep your eye on the entirety, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.

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