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

Your body and an ecosystem are similar in some ways. In nature, if something happens to the pond, all of the birds and fish suffer the consequences; and when the birds go away so too do all of the plants and animals that rely on those birds. The human body, often unbeknownst to us, operates on very comparable methods of interconnectedness. That’s the reason why a large number of ailments can be connected to something which at first appears so isolated like hearing loss.

In a sense, that’s just more evidence of your body’s ecosystem-like interdependence. When something affects your hearing, it may also impact your brain. These situations are referred to as comorbid, a term that is specialized and signifies when two ailments affect each other but don’t always have a cause and effect connection.

We can discover a lot about our bodies’ ecosystem by understanding 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 past couple of months. You’ve been having a hard time making out conversation when you go out for a bite. You’ve been turning up the volume on your television. And certain sounds seem so far away. It would be a good choice at this point to make an appointment with a hearing specialist.

Your hearing loss is connected to a number of health issues whether you recognize it or not. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been documented with the following health conditions.

  • Depression: social isolation associated with hearing loss can cause a whole range of problems, some of which relate to your mental health. So it’s not surprising that study after study finds anxiety and depression have very high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Dementia: neglected hearing loss has been connected to a higher chance of dementia, although the underlying cause of that relationship is not clear. Research shows that using a hearing aid can help slow cognitive decline and lower many of these dementia risks.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your principal tool for balance. Vertigo and dizziness can be created by some types of hearing loss because they have a negative influence on the inner ear. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you get older, falls can become increasingly hazardous.
  • Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can wreak havoc with your nervous system all over your body (particularly in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are especially likely to be harmed. This damage can cause hearing loss by itself. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more prone to hearing loss caused by other issues, often adding to your symptoms.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions are not necessarily linked. In other cases, cardiovascular issues can make you more susceptible to hearing loss. The reason for this is that trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear is one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease. As that trauma escalates, your hearing might suffer as a result.

Is There Anything That Can be Done?

When you stack all of those connected health conditions added together, it can look a little scary. But one thing should be kept in mind: treating your hearing loss can have huge positive impacts. Even though scientists and researchers don’t really know, for example, why dementia and hearing loss so often show up together, they do know that treating hearing loss can substantially lower your dementia risks.

So the best way to go, regardless of what comorbid condition you may be concerned about, is to have your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s the reason why more health care professionals are viewing hearing health with fresh eyes. Your ears are being considered as a part of your general health profile instead of being a targeted and limited concern. We’re beginning to think about the body as an interrelated environment in other words. Hearing loss isn’t always an isolated situation. 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.

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