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

How frequently do you think about your nervous system? For most individuals, the answer would probably be not that frequently. As long as your body is performing in the way that it is supposed to, you’ve no reason to think about how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending proper messages along the electrical pathways 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 particular condition, known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which can impact 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 evidence.

Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease, What is it?

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

The result is 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 of motor function and sensation can be the outcome.

A blend of genetic elements typically leads to the manifestation of symptoms, so CMT can be present in several varieties. Symptoms of CMT commonly start in the feet and go up to the arms. And, high-frequency hearing loss, curiously, has a high rate of occurrence among those who have CMT.

A Link Between Hearing Loss And CMT: The Cochlear Nerve

The link between CMT and hearing loss has always been colloquially established (that is, everybody knows somebody who has a story about it – at least within the CMT culture). And it was hard to recognize the link between loss of sensation in the legs and problems with the ears.

The connection was firmly established by a scientific study just recently when a group of researchers examined 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 who had CMT. But all of the people showed loss of hearing when it came to the high-frequency sounds (usually across the moderate levels). According to this research, it seems probable that CMT can at least be associated with high-frequency hearing loss.

The Cause of Hearing Loss and How to Treat It

The connection between high-frequency loss of hearing and CMT could, at first, seem puzzling. But all of your body, from your toes to your eyebrows, relies on the proper functioning of nerves. Your ears are no different.

What the majority of researchers hypothesize occurs is that the cochlear nerve is impacted 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 a hard time hearing some sounds, and that includes people’s voices. Trying to understand voices in a crowded noisy room is especially difficult.

This type of hearing loss is normally managed with hearing aids. There’s no known cure for CMT. Modern hearing aids can isolate the exact frequencies to amplify which can give significant help in fighting high-frequency hearing loss. Most modern hearing aids can also perform well in loud settings.

Many Reasons For Hearing Loss

Experts still aren’t entirely certain why CMT and hearing loss seem to co-exist quite so often (above and beyond their untested theory). But this form of hearing loss can be efficiently addressed using hearing aids. That’s why lots of individuals who have CMT will make time to sit down with a hearing care specialist and get fitted for a custom hearing aid.

Hearing loss symptoms can surface for a number of reasons. Frequently, it’s a matter of loud noise contributing to injury to the ears. Obstructions can be another cause. It also appears that CMT is another possible cause.

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