How frequently do you think about your nervous system? Most likely not all that frequently. Normally, you wouldn’t have to be concerned about how your neurons are communicating messages to the nerves in your body. But when those nerves begin to misfire – that is when something fails – you tend to pay a lot more attention to your nervous system.
One distinct disease known as Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease that generally affects the extremities can also have a fairly wide-scale affect on the overall nervous system. And there’s some evidence that implies that CMT can also lead to high-frequency hearing loss.
Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease, What is it?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited disorders. The protective sheathing surrounding the nerves malfunction due to a genetic disorder.
This means that the impulses sent from your brain to those nerves (and from those nerves back to your brain) don’t progress all that well. A loss in motor function and sensation can be the outcome.
CMT can be found in a number of varieties and a combination of genetic considerations normally lead to its expressions. For the majority of people who have CMT, symptoms start in the feet and go up into their arms. And, high-frequency hearing loss, oddly, has a high rate of occurrence in those who have CMT.
A Link Between Hearing Loss And CMT: The Cochlear Nerve
There has always been an anecdotal connection between hearing loss and CMT (which means that inside of the CMT community everybody has heard other people talk about it). And it seemed to mystify people who had CMT – the ear didn’t appear very related to the loss of sensation in the legs, for example.
A scientific study firmly established the connection just recently when a group of researchers examined 79 people with CMT at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
The findings were quite decisive. Low to moderate frequencies were heard nearly perfectly by those who had CMT. But high-frequency sounds (in the moderate region in particular) were easily heard by all of the individuals. high-frequency hearing loss, according to this study, is likely to be linked to CMT.
What is The Cause of Hearing Loss And How Can it be Addressed?
At first, it could be perplexing to try to figure out the link between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT. Like every other part of your body relies on correctly functioning nerves. That’s also the same for your ears.
What most researchers hypothesize occurs is that the cochlear nerve is impacted by the CMT – interfering with your ear’s ability to translate and transmit sounds in a high-frequency range. Certain sounds, including some voices, will be difficult to hear. Trying to hear voices in a crowded noisy room is especially difficult.
Hearing aids are usually used to manage this type of hearing loss. CMT has no known cure. Modern hearing aids can offer significant assistance in terms of combating the effects of high-frequency hearing loss, selecting only those ranges of sounds to boost. Most modern hearing aids can also do well in loud settings.
There Could be Many Causes For Hearing Loss
Researchers still aren’t completely sure why CMT and loss of hearing seem to co-exist quite so often (beyond their untested theory). But this kind of hearing loss can be effectively treated using hearing aids. That’s why many individuals who have CMT will take the time to sit down with a hearing care specialist and get a fitting for a custom hearing aid.
Hearing loss symptoms can occur for a wide variety of reasons. In many situations, loss of hearing is brought about by undesirable exposure to damaging noises. Blockages can be another cause. It also appears that CMT is another possible cause.