Do you invest much time considering your nervous system? Most likely not all that regularly. As long as your body is performing as it is supposed to, you have no reason to consider how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending correct messages through the electrical corridors of your body. But you tend to take a closer look when something fails and the nerves start to misfire.
There’s one particular disease, called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which can influence the nervous system on a relatively large scale, though the symptoms usually manifest chiefly in the extremities. high-frequency hearing loss can also be triggered by CMT according to some research.
Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease, What is it?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited conditions. The protective sheathing surrounding the nerves fail to function properly due to a genetic disorder.
There is an issue with how signals move between your brain and your nerves. Functionally, this can cause both a loss in motor function and a loss of sensation.
A mixture of genetic factors typically results in the appearance of symptoms, so CMT can be present in a number of varieties. For most people who have CMT, symptoms start in the feet and go up into their arms. And, high-frequency hearing loss, curiously, has a high rate of occurrence among those who have CMT.
A Link Between Loss of Hearing And CMT: The Cochlear Nerve
There’s always been an anecdotal link between loss of hearing and CMT (which means that inside of the CMT community everyone has heard others tell stories about it). And it seemed to confuse people who suffered from CMT – the ear didn’t appear all that related to the loss of sensation in the legs, for example.
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 very nearly perfectly by those who had CMT. But high-frequency sounds (in the moderate region in particular) were easily heard by all of the participants. According to this study, it seems pretty likely that CMT can at least be connected to high-frequency loss of hearing.
The Cause of Hearing Loss and How to Deal With It
The link between high-frequency loss of hearing and CMT could, at first, seem perplexing. Like every other part of your body relies on properly functioning nerves. That also goes for your ears.
What the majority of researchers hypothesize happens is that the cochlear nerve is affected by the CMT – disrupting your ear’s ability to translate and convey sounds in a high-frequency range. Anyone with this kind of hearing loss will have difficulty hearing specific sounds, including people’s voices. In particular, understand voices in crowded and noisy rooms can be a real challenge.
This form of hearing loss is usually managed with hearing aids. There’s no known cure for CMT. Modern hearing aids can offer tremendous help in terms of fighting the effects of high-frequency hearing loss, isolating only those ranges of sounds to boost. Additionally, most modern hearing aids can be adjusted to function well inside of noisy environments.
Hearing Loss Can Have Many Causes
Beyond the untested hypothesis, it’s still not well understood what the link between CMT and high-frequency hearing loss. But hearing aid tech provides a clear treatment for the symptoms of that loss of hearing. So scheduling an appointment to get a fitting for hearing aids will be a good choice for individuals who suffer from CMT.
Hearing loss symptoms can arise for several reasons. Commonly, it’s a matter of loud sound resulting in damage to the ears. In other situations, loss of hearing might be the consequence of an obstruction. It appears that CMT can be still another reason for loss of hearing.