Do you invest much time thinking about your nervous system? For the majority of people, the answer would probably be not that often. Normally, you wouldn’t have to be concerned about how your neurons are sending signals to the nerves in your body. But you tend to pay more attention when something isn’t working right and the nerves begin to misfire.
One specific disease called Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease that typically affects the extremities can also have a pretty wide-scale impact on the overall nervous system. And there’s some evidence that implies that CMT can also lead to high-frequency loss of hearing.
Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease, What is it?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited conditions. In essence, these genetic conditions cause something to go wrong with your nerves or with the protective sheathing surrounding your nerves.
The result is that the impulses sent from your brain to those nerves (and from those nerves back to your brain) don’t progress all that well. Functionally, this can result in both a loss in motor function and a loss of sensation.
CMT can be found in numerous variations and a mixture of genetic considerations usually lead to its expressions. Symptoms os CMT usually starts 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 Link Between CMT and Loss of Hearing
The connection between CMT and hearing loss has always been colloquially supported (that is, everyone knows somebody who has a tells about it – at least within the CMT culture). And it seemed to confuse people who suffered from CMT – the ear didn’t seem all that related to the loss of sensation in the legs, for example.
The connection was firmly established by a scientific study just recently when a group of scientists evaluated 79 people with CMT at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
The results were rather conclusive. Low to moderate frequencies were heard almost perfectly by those with CMT. 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 study, it seems probable that CMT can at least be associated with high-frequency loss of hearing.
What is The Cause of Hearing Loss And How Can it be Addressed?
The link between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT could, at first, seem perplexing. But all of your body, from your eyebrows to your toes, relies on the proper functioning of nerves. That also goes for your ears.
The hypothesis is, CMT impacts the cochlear nerve so sounds in the high-frequency range aren’t able to be translated. Anyone with this form of hearing loss will have difficulty hearing some sounds, including voices. Particularly, make out voices in crowded and noisy rooms can be a real obstacle.
This form of hearing loss is usually treated with hearing aids. There’s no known cure for CMT. Modern hearing aids can isolate the exact frequencies to boost which can offer appreciable help in combating high-frequency hearing loss. The majority of modern hearing aids can also do well in loud environments.
Multiple Reasons For Hearing Loss
Researchers still aren’t completely certain why CMT and loss of hearing seem to co-exist quite so frequently (above and beyond their untested hypothesis). But hearing aid tech provides an obvious treatment for the symptoms of that hearing loss. So making an appointment to get a fitting for hearing aids will be a good choice for people who have CMT.
Hearing loss symptoms can develop for several reasons. Commonly, it’s an issue of loud sound contributing to injury to the ears. Blockages can be another cause. It also looks as if CMT is another possible cause.