Call Us Today! 804-477-1630

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. As long as your body is working in the way that it should, you have no reason to think about how your neurons are firing or whether nerves are sending proper messages through the electrical corridors in your body. But when those nerves start to misfire – that is when something goes wrong – you tend to pay much more attention to your nervous system.

One particular disease called Charot-Marie-Tooth Disease which normally affects the extremities can also have a pretty wide-scale affect on the overall nervous system. And there’s some evidence that implies 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 conditions. The protective sheathing surrounding the nerves malfunction due to a genetic disorder.

There is a problem with the way signals move between your brain and your nerves. Functionally, this can cause both a loss in motor function and a loss of sensation.

CMT can be present in several varieties and a mixture of genetic factors normally lead to its expressions. Symptoms of CMT commonly start in the feet and go up to the arms. And, high-frequency hearing loss, oddly, has a high rate of occurrence among those with CMT.

A Link Between Hearing Loss And CMT: The Cochlear Nerve

The connection between CMT and hearing loss has always been colloquially supported (that is, everybody knows someone who has a tells about it – at least inside of the CMT community). And it seemed to confuse people who had 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 scientists evaluated 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 all of the individuals showed loss of hearing when it came to the high-frequency sounds (usually across the moderate levels). Based on this research, it seems probable that CMT can at least be linked to high-frequency hearing loss.

What is The Cause of Hearing Loss And How Can it be Treated?

At first, it might be puzzling to try to figure out the connection between high-frequency hearing loss and CMT. Like all other parts of your body rely on properly functioning nerves. Your ears are no different.

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. Anyone with this type of hearing loss will have a hard time hearing specific sounds, including people’s voices. Trying to hear voices in a crowded noisy room is particularly 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 give considerable assistance in fighting high-frequency hearing loss. The majority of modern hearing aids can also do well in loud settings.

There Could be Many Causes For Hearing Loss

Experts still aren’t entirely sure why CMT and hearing loss seem to co-exist quite so frequently (above and beyond their untested hypothesis). But hearing aid tech offers a clear treatment for the symptoms of that hearing loss. So making an appointment to get a fitting for hearing aids will be a smart decision for individuals who suffer from CMT.

There are a variety of causes for hearing loss symptoms. In some instances, hearing loss is caused by excess exposure to damaging noises. Obstructions can be another cause. It turns out that CMT can be still another cause of hearing loss.