How frequently do you think about your nervous system? For the majority of people, the answer would most likely be not very frequently. As long as your body is working in the way that it should, you have no reason to think about how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending proper messages along the electrical corridors of your body. But when those nerves begin to misfire – that is when something fails – you begin to pay much more attention to your nervous system.
There’s one specific condition, known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which can influence the nervous system on a pretty large scale, though the symptoms normally manifest chiefly in the extremities. And there’s some evidence to suggest 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. Essentially, these genetic conditions cause something to go wrong with your nerves or with the protective sheathing surrounding your nerves.
There is a problem with how signals travel between your brain and your nerves. Functionally, this can result in both a loss in motor function and a loss of sensation.
A mix of genetic elements typically results in the manifestation of symptoms, so CMT can be found in several variations. Symptoms of CMT commonly start in the feet and work their way up to the arms. And, curiously, among those who have CMT, there is a higher rate of occurrence of high-frequency hearing loss.
A Connection Between Hearing Loss And CMT: The Cochlear Nerve
The connection between CMT and loss of hearing has always been colloquially established (that is, everybody knows somebody who has a tells about it – at least inside of the CMT culture). And it was tough to grasp the connection 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 conclusive. Low to moderate frequencies were heard nearly perfectly by those with CMT. But high-frequency sounds (in the moderate region particularly) were easily heard by all of the individuals. According to this research, it seems probable that CMT can at least be connected to high-frequency hearing loss.
What is The Cause of Hearing Loss And How Can it be Addressed?
The link between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT might, at first, seem puzzling. But everything in your body, from your toes to your eyebrows, relies on the proper functioning of nerves. That’s also the same for your ears.
What the majority of researchers hypothesize occurs is that the cochlear nerve is impacted by the CMT – disrupting your ear’s ability to interpret and transmit sounds in a high-frequency range. Anybody with this kind of hearing loss will have difficulty hearing certain sounds, and that includes people’s voices. In particular, understand voices in crowded or noisy rooms can be a real challenge.
Hearing aids are commonly used to deal with this type of hearing loss. CMT has no renowned cure. Modern hearing aids can provide tremendous assistance in terms of overcoming the effects of high-frequency hearing loss, selecting only those ranges of sounds to amplify. Also, most modern hearing aids can be calibrated to function well in noisy surroundings.
There Could be Many Causes For Hearing Loss
Beyond the unconfirmed hypothesis, it’s still not well understood what the connection between CMT and high-frequency hearing loss. But this type of hearing loss can be effectively addressed using hearing aids. So making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids will be a good decision for people who have CMT.
Hearing loss symptoms can surface for numerous reasons. In some situations, loss of hearing is caused by undesirable exposure to damaging noises. Blockages can be yet another cause. It also looks like CMT is another possible cause.