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

Your body and an ecosystem are similar in some ways. In the natural world, if there’s a problem with the pond, all of the fish and birds are impacted as well; and when the birds go away so too do all of the animals and plants that depend on those birds. We might not know it but our body operates on very comparable principals. That’s why something which seems to be isolated, such as hearing loss, can be connected to a large number of other diseases and ailments.

This is, in a sense, proof of the interdependence of your body and it’s resemblance to an ecosystem. When something affects your hearing, it may also impact your brain. We call these conditions comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) name that demonstrates a connection between two conditions while not necessarily pointing directly at a cause-and-effect connection.

We can discover a lot about our bodies’ ecosystem by understanding ailments that are comorbid with hearing loss.

Conditions Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been recognizing the signs of hearing loss for the past several months. It’s more difficult to follow along with conversations in restaurants. Your television’s volume is constantly getting louder. And certain sounds just seem a little further away. It would be a smart choice at this point to make an appointment with a hearing specialist.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your hearing loss is linked to several other health problems. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been documented with the following health ailments.

  • Diabetes: additionally, your whole nervous system can be influenced in a negative way by diabetes (particularly in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be harmed are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be entirely caused by this damage. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more prone to hearing loss caused by other factors, often compounding your symptoms.
  • Dementia: a higher chance of dementia has been connected to hearing loss, though it’s not clear what the base cause is. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Vertigo and falls: your principal tool for balance is your inner ear. Vertigo and dizziness can be caused 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 will become significantly more hazardous.
  • Depression: social separation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole host of problems, many of which are related to your mental health. So it’s not surprising that study after study finds depression and anxiety have very high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease are not necessarily connected. But sometimes hearing loss can be worsened by cardiovascular disease. The reason for this is that trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear is one of the first symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Your hearing could suffer as a result of the of that trauma.

What Can You Do?

It can seem a little scary when all those health conditions get added together. But it’s important to remember one thing: managing your hearing loss can have tremendous positive influences. Though researchers and scientists don’t really know, for example, why hearing loss and dementia show up together so often, they do know that treating hearing loss can dramatically lower your dementia risks.

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 why more health care professionals are viewing hearing health with fresh eyes. Instead of being a rather limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are thought of as closely connected to your general wellbeing. In a nutshell, we’re beginning to perceive the body more like an interconnected ecosystem. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated situation. So it’s more important 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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