Many people just accept hearing loss as a part of aging like reading glasses or gray hair. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School shows a link between hearing loss and general health in older adults.
Communication troubles, cognitive decline, and depression have a higher occurrence in senior citizens with vision or hearing loss. That’s something you may already have read about. But one thing you might not recognize is that life expectancy can also be influenced by hearing loss.
People who have neglected hearing loss, according to this study, may actually have a reduced lifespan. Additionally, they found that if untreated hearing loss occurred with vision problems it just about doubles the likelihood that they will have difficulty with activities necessary for day-to-day living. It’s an issue that is both a physical and a quality of life concern.
This might sound bad but there’s a positive: there’s a variety of ways that hearing loss can be addressed. More significantly, serious health issues can be found if you get a hearing exam which could inspire you to lengthen your life expectancy by paying more attention to your health.
What’s The Link Between Hearing Loss And Poor Health?
While the research is persuasive, cause and effect are nonetheless not clear.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that other problems such as greater risk of stroke and heart disease were seen in older people who were suffering hearing loss.
These results make sense when you know more about the causes of hearing loss. Many cases of tinnitus and hearing loss are tied to heart disease since high blood pressure impacts the blood vessels in the ear canal. When you have shrunken blood vessels – which can be due to smoking – the body needs to work harder to push the blood through which leads to high blood pressure. High blood pressure in older adults with hearing loss often causes them to hear a whooshing noise in their ears.
Hearing loss has also been connected to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other forms of cognitive decline. There are a number of reasons for the two to be connected according to health professionals and hearing specialists: the brain has to work harder to decipher conversations and words for one, which leaves less mental ability to actually process the words or do anything else. In other situations, difficulty communicating causes people who suffer from hearing loss to be less social. This social separation leads to depression and anxiety, which can have an extreme impact on a person’s mental health.
How Older Adults Can Manage Hearing Loss
There are several options available to manage hearing loss in older adults, but as the studies reveal, the smartest thing to do is deal with the issue as soon as possible before it has more extreme consequences.
Hearing aids are one kind of treatment that can work wonders in combating your hearing loss. There are small discreet versions of hearing aids that are Bluetooth ready and an assortment of other options are also available. Also, basic quality of life has been enhancing because of hearing aid technology. For example, they filter out background sound a lot better than older models and can be connected to cell phones, TVs, and computers to let you hear better during the entertainment.
So that you can prevent further hearing loss, older adults can consult their doctor or a nutritionist about positive dietary changes. There are connections between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for example, which can frequently be treated by adding more iron into your diet. An improved diet can help your other medical conditions and help you have better overall health.