Do you invest much time thinking about your nervous system? Probably not all that regularly. As long as your body is working in the way that it is supposed to, you’ve no reason to think about how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending correct messages along the electrical pathways in 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 generally affects the extremities can also have a fairly wide-scale affect on the overall nervous system. And there’s some evidence to suggest that CMT can also lead to high-frequency hearing loss.
What Is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited disorders. The protective sheathing surrounding the nerves fail to function properly due to a genetic disorder.
As a result, the signals sent from your brain to those nerves (and from those nerves back to your brain) don’t travel all that well. Functionally, this can lead to both a loss in motor function and a loss of feeling.
A mix of genetic elements commonly leads to the manifestation of symptoms, so CMT can be present in a few varieties. For many people who have CMT, symptoms begin in the feet and go up into their arms. And, oddly, 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 connection between CMT and hearing loss has always been colloquially established (that is, everyone knows somebody who has a story about it – at least inside of the CMT culture). And it was difficult to recognize the connection between loss of sensation in the legs and problems with the ears.
A scientific study firmly established the connection just recently when a group of researchers evaluated 79 people with CMT at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
The findings were rather conclusive. Low to moderate frequencies were heard almost 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 associated with CMT.
What is The Cause of Hearing Loss And How Can it be Addressed?
At first, it could be perplexing to attempt to figure out the link between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT. Like all other parts of your body rely on properly functioning nerves. That’s also the same for your ears.
The hypothesis is, CMT impacts the cochlear nerve so noises in the high-frequency range aren’t able to be translated. Anyone with this kind of hearing loss will have difficulty hearing specific sounds, and that includes voices. Trying to hear voices in a crowded noisy room is especially difficult.
This type of hearing loss is commonly managed with hearing aids. There’s no recognized cure for CMT. Modern hearing aids can select the precise frequencies to boost which can offer appreciable assistance in fighting high-frequency hearing loss. In addition, most modern hearing aids can be calibrated to work well inside of noisy settings.
There Could be Numerous Causes For Hearing Loss
Further than the unconfirmed hypothesis, it’s still uncertain what the connection between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT is. But hearing aid tech offers a definite treatment for the symptoms of that loss of hearing. So scheduling an appointment to get a fitting for hearing aids will be a smart choice for individuals who suffer from CMT.
Hearing loss symptoms can develop for several reasons. Frequently, it’s a matter of loud noise resulting in injury to the ears. In other cases, loss of hearing could be the consequence of an obstruction. It also appears that CMT is another possible cause.