Hearing Health Blog

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

How frequently do you contemplate your nervous system? Probably not all that frequently. Usually, you wouldn’t have to be concerned about how your neurons are communicating messages to the nerves of 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.

There’s one particular condition, known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which can influence the nervous system on a pretty large scale, though the symptoms usually manifest mainly in the extremities. high-frequency hearing loss can also be the result of CMT according to some evidence.

Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease, What is it?

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a set of inherited conditions. Essentially, these genetic disorders cause something to go wrong with your nerves or with the protective sheathing surrounding your nerves.

As a result, the impulses sent from your brain to those nerves (and from those nerves back to your brain) don’t progress all that well. A loss of motor function and sensation can be the outcome.

CMT can be found in numerous varieties and a combination of genetic factors normally lead to its expressions. For most people with CMT, symptoms begin in the feet and go up into their arms. And, strangely, among those who have CMT, there is a higher rate of occurrence of high-frequency hearing loss.

The Cochlear Nerve: A Link Between CMT and Loss of Hearing

The connection between CMT and hearing loss has always been colloquially supported (that is, everybody knows someone who has a story about it – at least within the CMT community). And it was tough to realize the connection between loss of sensation in the legs and issues with the ears.

A scientific study firmly established the connection just recently when a group of scientists 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 with CMT. But all of the people showed hearing loss when it came to the high-frequency sounds (usually across the moderate levels). 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 loss of hearing and CMT may, at first, seem perplexing. But everything in your body, from your toes to your eyebrows, relies on the proper functioning of nerves. Your ears are no different.

What many 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 type of hearing loss will have difficulty hearing specific sounds, and that includes voices. Trying to understand voices in a crowded noisy room is especially hard.

This type of hearing loss is usually managed with hearing aids. CMT has no renowned cure. Modern hearing aids can select the precise frequencies to boost which can provide appreciable help in fighting high-frequency hearing loss. Most modern hearing aids can also work well in loud settings.

Hearing Loss Can Have Several Causes

Further than the untested hypothesis, it’s still not well understood what the relationship between CMT and high-frequency hearing loss. But hearing aid technology offers an obvious solution to the symptoms of that hearing loss. That’s why lots of individuals with CMT will make time to sit down with a hearing specialist and get a fitting for a custom hearing aid.

Hearing loss symptoms can develop for several reasons. Commonly, it’s an issue of loud noise leading to damage to the ears. Obstructions can be yet another cause. It appears that CMT can be still another cause of loss of hearing.

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