Do you invest much time thinking about your nervous system? For the majority of people, the answer would most likely be not that often. Ordinarily, you wouldn’t have to worry about how your neurons are communicating messages to the nerves of your body. But when those nerves begin to misfire – that is when something goes wrong – you tend to pay a lot more attention to your nervous system.
There’s one specific condition, known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which can impact the nervous system on a fairly large scale, though the symptoms usually manifest chiefly in the extremities. And there’s some evidence that implies that CMT can also cause 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 around your nerves.
This means that the impulses sent from your brain to those nerves (and from those nerves back to your brain) don’t travel all that well. A loss in motor function and sensation can be the outcome.
CMT can be found in a number of variations and a combination of genetic considerations usually lead to its expressions. For many people with CMT, symptoms start in the feet and go up into their arms. And, strangely, 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 Loss of Hearing
The connection between CMT and loss of hearing has always been colloquially recognized (that is, everyone knows somebody who has a tells about it – at least inside of the CMT culture). And it was hard to understand the connection between loss of sensation in the legs and issues with the ears.
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 quite decisive. Low to moderate frequencies were heard nearly perfectly by those with CMT. But high-frequency sounds (in the moderate region particularly) were effortlessly heard by all of the participants. high-frequency hearing loss, according to this research, is likely to be connected to CMT.
The Cause of Hearing Loss and How to Treat It
The connection between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT might, at first, seem puzzling. Like all other parts of your body rely on properly functioning nerves. Your ears are no different.
What most researchers hypothesize occurs is that the cochlear nerve is affected by the CMT – disrupting your ear’s ability to translate and transmit sounds in a high-frequency range. Some sounds, including some voices, will be difficult to hear. Particularly, understand voices in crowded or noisy rooms can be a tangible challenge.
Hearing aids are commonly used to manage this kind of hearing loss. There’s no known cure for CMT. Modern hearing aids can give considerable assistance in terms of combating the effects of high-frequency loss of hearing, isolating only those ranges of sounds to amplify. The majority of modern hearing aids can also do well in noisy environments.
There Can be Many Causes For Hearing Loss
Beyond the untested hypothesis, it’s still uncertain what the relationship between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT is. But this kind of hearing loss can be successfully managed with hearing aids. That’s why many individuals with CMT will make time to get a consultation with a hearing care specialist and get fitted for a custom hearing aid.
There are numerous causes for hearing loss symptoms. Often, it’s an issue of loud sound resulting in injury to the ears. Blockages can be another cause. It also looks like CMT is another possible cause.