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

Your body and an ecosystem have some similarities. In nature, all of the birds and fish 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. We might not realize it but our body works on very similar principals. That’s the reason why a large number of illnesses can be connected to something which at first appears so isolated like hearing loss.

This is, in a way, proof of the interdependence of your body and it’s resemblance to an ecosystem. Your brain might also be affected if something affects your hearing. We call these situations comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) label that demonstrates a link between two disorders while not necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect connection.

The disorders that are comorbid with hearing loss can tell us a lot about our bodies’ ecosystems.

Diseases Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss for the last few months. You’ve been having a tough time making out what people are saying when you go out to eat. The volume of your television is constantly getting louder. And certain sounds sound so far away. It would be a good choice at this point to schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist.

Whether you recognize it or not, your hearing loss is connected to numerous other health problems. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been reported with the following health ailments.

  • Depression: a whole range of issues can be the result of social isolation because of hearing loss, some of which are related to your mental health. So depression and anxiety, not surprisingly, have been found in study after study, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
  • Cardiovascular disease: sometimes hearing loss has nothing to do with cardiovascular disease. But sometimes hearing loss can be aggravated by cardiovascular disease. That’s because one of the initial signs of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels in the inner ear. As that trauma gets worse, your hearing might suffer as an outcome.
  • Diabetes: similarly, diabetes can have a negative affect on your overall body’s nervous system (particularly in your extremities). the nerves in the ear are especially likely to be affected. Hearing loss can be wholly caused by this damage. But your symptoms can be multiplied 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 connected to hearing loss, although the base cause of that relationship is uncertain. Many of these cases of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • 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 impact on the inner ear. Any loss of balance can, naturally, cause falls, and as you get older, falls will become significantly more dangerous.

What’s The Answer?

When you add all of those related 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 managing your hearing loss. Though researchers and scientists don’t exactly know, for instance, why dementia and hearing loss so often show up together, they do know that dealing with hearing loss can substantially lower your dementia risks.

So the best course of action, no matter what comorbid condition you might be concerned about, is to get your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

That’s the reason why more medical professionals are viewing hearing health with new eyes. Instead of being a rather limited and specific area of concern, your ears are viewed as closely connected to your overall wellness. In other words, we’re starting to view the body more like an interconnected environment. Hearing loss doesn’t always arise in isolation. So it’s more important than ever that we pay attention to the totality, not to the proverbial pond or the birds in isolation, but to your health as a whole.

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