How often do you think about your nervous system? Most likely not all that frequently. As long as your body is working as it should, you have no reason to think about how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending proper messages along the electrical pathways of your body. But when those nerves start to misfire – that is when something isn’t working properly – you begin to pay much more attention to your nervous system.
One specific disease called Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease which typically affects the extremities can also have a fairly wide-scale affect on the whole nervous system. And there’s some evidence that implies that CMT can also cause high-frequency hearing loss.
What Is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited conditions. In essence, these genetic disorders cause something to go wrong with your nerves or with the protective sheathing surrounding your nerves.
There is an issue with how signals move between your brain and your nerves. A loss in motor function and sensation can be the outcome.
A mixture of genetic elements usually leads to the appearance of symptoms, so CMT can be found in a number of variations. Symptoms of CMT commonly begin in the feet and go up to the arms. And, curiously, among those who have CMT, there is a higher rate of occurrence of high-frequency hearing loss.
The Cochlear Nerve: A Connection Between CMT and Hearing Loss
The link between CMT and loss of hearing has always been colloquially supported (that is, everyone knows someone who has a story about it – at least within the CMT community). And it was hard to realize the link between loss of sensation in the legs and problems with the ears.
The connection was firmly established by a scientific study just recently when a group of researchers examined 79 people with CMT at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
The results were quite conclusive. 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. According to this study, it seems pretty likely that CMT can at least be associated with high-frequency hearing loss.
What is The Cause of Hearing Loss And How Can it be Treated?
At first, it may be puzzling to attempt to recognize the connection between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT. Like all other parts of your body rely on correctly functioning nerves. That also goes for your ears.
The hypothesis is, CMT affects the cochlear nerve so sounds in the high-frequency range aren’t able to be interpreted. Some sounds, including some voices, will be difficult to hear. Notably, understand voices in crowded and noisy rooms can be a tangible challenge.
This form of hearing loss is normally treated with hearing aids. CMT has no renowned cure. Modern hearing aids can give considerable assistance in terms of fighting the effects of high-frequency hearing loss, selecting only those ranges of sounds to boost. Most modern hearing aids can also work well in loud environments.
There Could be Numerous Causes For Hearing Loss
Researchers still aren’t entirely certain why CMT and loss of hearing seem to co-exist quite so often (beyond their untested theory). But this form of hearing loss can be effectively addressed with hearing aids. That’s why countless people who have CMT will take the time to get a consultation with a hearing care specialist and get a fitting for a custom hearing aid.
Hearing loss symptoms can develop for a wide variety of reasons. In many cases, hearing loss is brought about by excessive exposure to damaging sounds. In other circumstances, loss of hearing might be the result of a blockage. It appears that CMT can be still another reason for hearing loss.