Hearing Health Blog

Image of a neural disease that would cause high-frequency hearing loss.

How frequently do you think about your nervous system? For most people, the answer would probably be not very frequently. As long as your body is working in the way that it is supposed to, you have no reason to consider how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending proper messages along the electrical pathways of your body. But you tend to pay more attention when something fails and the nerves begin to misfire.

One specific disease known as Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease that typically affects the extremities can also have a fairly wide-scale affect on the whole nervous system. high-frequency hearing loss can also be triggered by CMT according to some research.

What Is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited disorders. The protective sheathing around the nerves fail to function properly due to a genetic condition.

As a result, the signals sent from your brain to those nerves (and from those nerves back to your brain) don’t work all that well. Functionally, this can result in both a loss in motor function and a loss of feeling.

CMT can be found in numerous variations and a mixture of genetic considerations normally lead to its expressions. Symptoms of CMT commonly begin in the feet and work their way up to the arms. And, high-frequency hearing loss, strangely, has a high rate of occurrence among those with CMT.

The Cochlear Nerve: A Connection Between CMT and Hearing Loss

There’s always been an anecdotal link between hearing loss and CMT (meaning that inside of the CMT community everyone has heard others talk about it). And it seemed to confuse people who had 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 decisive. Nearly everyone with CMT passed their low and moderate frequency hearing exams with flying colors. But high-frequency sounds (in the moderate region particularly) were effortlessly heard by all of the participants. high-frequency hearing loss, according to this study, 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 perplexing. But everything in your body, from your toes to your eyebrows, relies on the correct functioning of nerves. That’s also the same for your ears.

What the majority of researchers hypothesize happens is that the cochlear nerve is affected by the CMT – interfering with your ear’s ability to interpret and convey sounds in a high-frequency range. Anybody with this kind of hearing loss will have a hard time hearing specific sounds, and that includes peoples voices. Trying to hear voices in a crowded noisy room is particularly hard.

Hearing aids are commonly used to treat this kind of hearing loss. CMT has no renowned cure. Modern hearing aids can offer significant help in terms of fighting the effects of high-frequency hearing loss, selecting only those ranges of sounds to amplify. The majority of modern hearing aids can also do well in loud settings.

Hearing Loss Can Have A Number of Causes

Beyond the unconfirmed theory, it’s still not well understood what the relationship between CMT and high-frequency hearing loss. But this kind of hearing loss can be effectively managed with hearing aids. That’s why many individuals with CMT will take the time to get a consultation with a hearing care professional and get fitted for a custom hearing aid.

There are a variety of causes for hearing loss symptoms. Commonly, it’s a matter of loud sound causing injury to the ears. In other situations, hearing loss may be the consequence of an obstruction. It also looks like CMT is another possible cause.

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