Hearing loss can be traumatizing, and it changes the way you interact with the world at large. Even more, hearing loss may be an outcome or symptom of some other more serious condition, which makes it a co-morbidity. The word “co-morbidity” refers to the simultaneous existence of two conditions or diseases in someone. Problems associated with hearing loss range from mental conditions to physical disorders. The first sign of other health issues in conjunction with hearing loss may be one or more of five disorders, namely cardiovascular disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, dementia, or depression.
The condition of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease can be a physical manifestation of hearing loss. Poor cardiovascular health includes coronary artery disease, strokes, and heart attacks. However, one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease is blood vessel injury to the inner ear. Damage to fragile hearing nerves induced hearing loss. So, cardiovascular disease is often a co-morbidity of or coupled with hearing loss.
The condition of diabetes
Diabetes is a second, physical manifestation of hearing loss. Twice as likely to have hearing loss are individuals with the condition of diabetes over those without it. Diabetes patients often experience tingling in their toes and fingers because of nerve damage. High blood sugar from diabetes can result in hearing loss, due to damage to the nerves and blood vessels in the inner ear.
The condition of thyroid disease
Thyroid disease is a third manifestation of hearing loss. The body’s metabolism is regulated by hormones produced by the thyroid. A thyroid condition can affects other areas of the body. Hearing, energy level, and heart rate are examples. Thyroid disease, such as Pendred Syndrome, Hashimoto’s Disease, and Grave’s Disease are connected to hearing loss, although the exact link is still being researched.
The condition of dementia
Dementia refers to mental decline. A co-morbidity of mental decline is hearing loss. Straining continuously to understand and hear speech wears out the brain, inhibiting the brain from functioning at an optimal level. In addition, frustration and embarrassment occur with social interactions, causing individuals with hearing loss to withdraw. Mental decline accelerates under these conditions.
The condition of depression
Loss of hearing can induce clinical depression or negative emotions, taking an emotional toll on someone with hearing loss. Depression is a mental condition that can be linked to hearing loss. Not hearing so well anymore can trigger depression. Alienation, anxiety, and stress result when someone with hearing loss has to constantly ask people to repeat themselves.
The five conditions above speak to how they can be a co-morbidity of hearing loss. Understand how these conditions might affect you and know the signs, so that you can take action to protect your health. If you think you might have a hearing loss, contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to get your hearing tested and discuss the co-morbidity risks that may exist.