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Hearing Aids by Tricia Leagjeld - Redmond, OR

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

Your body is similar to an ecosystem. In nature, all of the birds and fish will be affected if something goes wrong with the pond; and when the birds go away so too do all of the animals and plants that rely on those birds. We might not realize it but our body functions on very comparable principals. That’s the reason why something which seems to be isolated, such as hearing loss, can be connected to a wide variety of other ailments and diseases.

This is, in a way, proof of the interdependence of your body and it’s resemblance to an ecosystem. Your brain might also be impacted if something affects your hearing. These conditions are known as comorbid, a name that is specialized and signifies when two conditions affect each other but don’t always have a cause and effect relationship.

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

Conditions Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the signs of hearing loss for the past several months. You’ve been having a hard time hearing what people are saying when you go out for a bite. You’ve been cranking the volume up on your television. And certain sounds just seem a bit more distant. When this is the situation, the majority of people will make an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the smart thing to do, actually).

Your hearing loss is linked to several health issues whether your aware of it or not. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been documented with the following health ailments.

  • Dementia: a higher risk of dementia has been linked to hearing loss, although the underlying cause of that relationship is uncertain. Research reveals that using a hearing aid can help slow cognitive decline and decrease many of these dementia risks.
  • Cardiovascular disease: on occasion hearing loss doesn’t have anything to do with cardiovascular conditions. But sometimes hearing loss can be worsened by cardiovascular disease. That’s because one of the first symptoms of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear. Your hearing could suffer as a result of the of that trauma.
  • Diabetes: additionally, your overall nervous system can be negatively influenced by diabetes (specifically in your extremities). one of the areas especially likely to be harmed are the nerves in the ear. This damage can cause hearing loss by itself. But your symptoms can be multiplied because diabetes related nerve damage can cause you to be more prone to hearing loss caused by other factors.
  • Vertigo and falls: your main tool for balance is your inner ear. There are some forms of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, resulting in dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, naturally, cause falls, and as you get older, falls can become increasingly dangerous.
  • Depression: social isolation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole host of problems, many of which relate to your mental health. So anxiety and depression, not surprisingly, have been found in several studies, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.

What’s The Solution?

It can seem a little intimidating when all those health conditions get added together. But one thing should be kept in mind: managing your hearing loss can have tremendous positive effects. Scientists and researchers understand that if hearing loss is addressed, the risk of dementia significantly lowers although they don’t really know precisely why dementia and hearing loss manifest together to begin with.

So no matter what your comorbid condition might be, the best way to go is to have your hearing checked.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is the reason why health care professionals are rethinking the importance of how to manage hearing loss. Instead of being a somewhat limited and specific area of concern, your ears are viewed as closely connected to your overall wellness. In a nutshell, we’re starting to view the body more like an interrelated ecosystem. Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily develop in isolation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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