Do you invest much time considering your nervous system? Probably not all that frequently. As long as your body is performing as it is supposed to, you have no reason to think about how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending proper messages through the electrical pathways of your body. But when those nerves begin to misfire – that is when something fails – you tend to pay much more attention to your nervous system.
There’s one particular condition, called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which can affect the nervous system on a pretty large scale, though the symptoms usually manifest chiefly in the extremities. And there’s some evidence to suggest 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 disorders. Essentially, these genetic conditions cause something to go wrong with your nerves or with the protective sheathing around your nerves.
There is an issue with how signals move between your brain and your nerves. Functionally, this can lead to both a loss in motor function and a loss of feeling.
CMT can be present in numerous varieties and a mixture of genetic considerations normally lead to its expressions. For many people with CMT, symptoms start in the feet and go up into their arms. And, high-frequency hearing loss, strangely, has a high rate of occurrence in those with CMT.
The Cochlear Nerve: A Connection Between CMT and Hearing Loss
The link between CMT and loss of hearing has always been colloquially recognized (that is, everyone knows someone who has a tells about it – at least inside of the CMT culture). And it seemed to mystify people who had CMT – the ear didn’t appear 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 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 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 link between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT could, at first, seem puzzling. But everything in your body, from your eyebrows to your toes, relies on the correct functioning of nerves. That’s also the same for your ears.
What many researchers hypothesize occurs 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. Anyone with this form of hearing loss will have a hard time hearing certain sounds, and that includes people’s voices. Notably, understand voices in crowded and noisy rooms can be a tangible challenge.
Hearing aids are usually used to deal with this type of hearing loss. There’s no known cure for CMT. Modern hearing aids can isolate the exact frequencies to boost which can offer appreciable assistance in combating high-frequency hearing loss. Also, most modern hearing aids can be calibrated to work well in noisy settings.
There Can be Various Causes For Hearing Loss
Beyond the untested hypothesis, it’s still not well understood what the relationship between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT is. But hearing aid technology offers a clear solution to the symptoms of that loss of hearing. So scheduling an appointment to get a fitting for hearing aids will be a smart choice for people who suffer from CMT.
Hearing loss symptoms can occur for several reasons. Commonly, it’s an issue of loud noise contributing to damage to the ears. In other circumstances, loss of hearing may be the result of a blockage. It also looks like CMT is another possible cause.