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

How often do you contemplate your nervous system? Most likely not all that frequently. Generally, you wouldn’t have to be concerned about how your neurons are communicating messages to the nerves in your body. But when those nerves begin to misfire – that is when something fails – you begin to pay a lot more attention to your nervous system.

One distinct disease known as Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease that typically affects the extremities can also have a fairly wide-scale affect on the overall nervous system. And there’s some evidence to suggest that CMT can also cause high-frequency loss of hearing.

What Is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?

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.

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. A loss of motor function and sensation can be the outcome.

A mixture of genetic elements usually leads to the manifestation of symptoms, so CMT can be present in several variations. 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.

A Connection Between Loss of Hearing And CMT: The Cochlear Nerve

There has always been an anecdotal link between hearing loss and CMT (which means that within the CMT community everybody has heard others talk about it). And it was difficult to understand the link 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 researchers examined 79 people with CMT at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The findings were rather decisive. Almost everyone with CMT passed their low and moderate frequency hearing assessments with flying colors. 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 connection between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT could, at first, seem perplexing. But all of your body, from your toes to your eyebrows, relies on the correct functioning of nerves. Your ears are the same.

What most researchers hypothesize occurs is that the cochlear nerve is impacted by the CMT – interfering with your ear’s ability to translate and convey sounds in a high-frequency range. Some sounds, including some voices, will be difficult to hear. Trying to understand voices in a crowded noisy room is particularly difficult.

This kind of hearing loss is usually managed with hearing aids. CMT has no renowned cure. Modern hearing aids can offer considerable help in terms of overcoming the effects of high-frequency loss of hearing, selecting only those ranges of sounds to amplify. The majority of modern hearing aids can also perform well in noisy settings.

There Can be Various Causes For Hearing Loss

Experts still aren’t entirely sure why CMT and loss of hearing seem to co-exist quite so frequently (beyond their untested theory). But hearing aid technology offers an obvious solution to the symptoms of that loss of hearing. That’s why many individuals with CMT will make time to sit down with a hearing care professional and get a fitting for a custom hearing aid.

Hearing loss symptoms can arise for many reasons. Often, it’s a matter of loud sound resulting in damage to the ears. Obstructions can be another cause. It turns out that CMT can be still another cause of hearing loss.