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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 be affected if something goes wrong with the pond; and when the birds disappear so too do all of the animals and plants that rely on those birds. We may not realize it but our body operates on very comparable principals. That’s the reason why something that seems isolated, such as hearing loss, can be linked to a large number of other diseases and ailments.

This is, in a sense, proof of the interdependence of your body and it’s similarity to an ecosystem. When something affects your hearing, it may also impact your brain. These conditions are known as comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) label that illustrates a connection between two conditions without necessarily articulating a cause-and-effect connection.

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

Hearing Loss And The Conditions That Are Linked to it

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past several months. You’ve been having a hard time making out conversation when you go out for a bite. The volume of your television is getting louder and louder. And some sounds sound so distant. It would be a good choice at this point to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional.

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

  • Depression: social separation brought on by hearing loss can cause a whole host of concerns, many of which are related to your mental health. So it’s not surprising that study after study confirms anxiety and depression have really high comorbidity rates with hearing loss.
  • Diabetes: additionally, diabetes can have a negative affect on your nervous system all over your body (especially in your extremities). one of the areas particularly likely to be affected are the nerves in the ear. This damage can cause hearing loss by itself. But your symptoms can be compounded because diabetes related nerve damage can cause you to be more prone to hearing loss from other factors.
  • Vertigo and falls: your inner ear is your main tool for balance. There are some forms of hearing loss that can wreak havoc with your inner ear, causing dizziness and vertigo. Any loss of balance can, of course, cause falls, and as you get older, falls will become increasingly hazardous.
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been linked to a higher risk of dementia, though it’s not clear what the root cause is. Research shows that wearing a hearing aid can help slow cognitive decline and decrease many of these dementia risks.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular disease are not always interconnected. In other cases, cardiovascular issues can make you more susceptible to hearing loss. That’s because one of the first symptoms of cardiovascular disease is trauma to the blood vessels in the inner ear. As that trauma gets worse, your hearing may suffer as a result.

Is There Anything That You Can do?

When you add all of those connected health conditions added together, it can seem a little scary. But one thing should be kept in mind: tremendous positive affect can be gained by managing your hearing loss. Researchers and scientists understand that if hearing loss is addressed, the chance of dementia substantially lowers even though they don’t really understand exactly why dementia and hearing loss manifest together to begin with.

So regardless of what your comorbid condition might be, the best way to go is to get your hearing examined.

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 rather limited and targeted area of concern, your ears are viewed as closely connected to your general wellness. In other words, we’re beginning to perceive the body more like an interrelated ecosystem. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated situation. So it’s important to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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