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By Lindsey June
Preventative measures and risk assessment can help you stay on top of diseases linked to hearing loss.
Understanding Comorbidities and Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a serious condition in its own right, but studies show that it’s also linked to several other disabling conditions. These linkages are known as comorbidities, which can be defined as the presence of two or more diseases or medical conditions in the same patient.
There are seven major comorbidities linked to hearing loss. These include loneliness, depression, balance issues, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, and mortality. Hearing loss is linked to each of these conditions in a variety of ways, both emotionally and physically. For example, loneliness can result from the isolation of impaired social interactions and even contribute to depression. Physical changes from diabetes can damage parts of your ear, and inner ear issues can cause problems with balance resulting in falls. The connection between these conditions and hearing loss varies, but can have a major impact on quality of life.
Thankfully, there are numerous options for prevention, early detection, and even treatment of hearing loss, which in turn lower these risks.
Simple actions, like limiting your exposure to loud noises or wearing ear plugs when you are around them, can help prevent hearing loss.
If you’re at risk or suspect you might have hearing loss, you should call your audiologist for a baseline test or talk to your primary care physician.
Benefits to Patients
If hearing loss has progressed, technology like the Signia Pure Charge&Go AX hearing aids helps separate speech from background noise so that you can focus on what you need to hear and cut out the rest. With the ability to more easily decipher between sound types, social interactions become easier, decreasing your risk of isolation, loneliness, and depression. By preventing, detecting, and treating hearing loss, you stand a greater chance of improving your overall health and preventing complications from its comorbidities.