How often do you contemplate your nervous system? For the majority of individuals, the answer would probably be not that frequently. As long as your body is working as it is supposed to, you’ve no reason to consider how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending correct messages along the electrical corridors in your body. But you will pay more attention when something goes wrong and the nerves begin to misfire.
There’s one specific disease, called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which can influence the nervous system on a pretty large scale, though the symptoms usually manifest mainly in the extremities. 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 conditions. Effectively, these genetic disorders cause something to go wrong with your nerves or with the protective sheathing surrounding your nerves.
There is an issue with the way signals move between your brain and your nerves. A loss in motor function and sensation can be the outcome.
CMT can be present in numerous varieties and a mixture of genetic considerations normally lead to its expressions. For the majority of people with CMT, symptoms start in the feet and go up into their arms. And, curiously, among those who have CMT, there is a higher rate of occurrence of high-frequency hearing loss.
The Cochlear Nerve: A Link Between CMT and Hearing Loss
The link between CMT and loss of hearing has always been colloquially established (that is, everybody knows somebody who has a story about it – at least within the CMT community). And it was tough to understand the link between loss of sensation in the legs and issues with the ears.
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. Nearly everyone who has CMT passed their low and moderate frequency hearing assessments with flying colors. But all of the individuals showed loss of hearing when it came to the high-frequency sounds (usually across the moderate levels). Based on this research, it seems pretty likely that CMT can at least be linked to high-frequency hearing loss.
The Cause of Hearing Loss and How to Deal With It
The link between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT might, at first, seem puzzling. But everything in your body, from your eyebrows to your toes, relies on the proper functioning of nerves. Your ears are the same.
What the majority of researchers hypothesize happens is that the cochlear nerve is impacted by the CMT – interfering with your ear’s ability to interpret and transmit sounds in a high-frequency range. Certain sounds, including some voices, will be hard to hear. Notably, understand voices in crowded and noisy rooms can be a tangible obstacle.
This kind of hearing loss is usually managed with hearing aids. CMT has no known cure. Modern hearing aids can isolate the precise frequencies to boost which can provide significant help in battling high-frequency hearing loss. The majority of modern hearing aids can also perform well in noisy environments.
Many Factors Behind Hearing Loss
Experts still aren’t completely certain why CMT and hearing loss seem to co-exist quite so often (above and beyond their untested hypothesis). But this kind of hearing loss can be successfully managed using hearing aids. That’s why lots of individuals who have CMT will make time to sit down with a hearing care professional and get fitted for a custom hearing aid.
Hearing loss symptoms can occur for a number of reasons. In some instances, hearing loss is brought about by undesirable exposure to harmful sounds. In other circumstances, hearing loss may be the result of a blockage. It turns out that CMT can be still another cause of loss of hearing.