Many people just accept hearing loss as a part of getting old like gray hair or reading glasses. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School shows a link between overall health and hearing loss.
Communication troubles, cognitive decline, and depression have a higher occurrence in senior citizens with vision or hearing loss. You might already have read about that. But did you know that hearing loss is also connected to shorter life expectancy?
People who have untreated hearing loss, according to this research, may actually have a reduced lifespan. Additionally, they found that if untreated hearing loss happened with vision impairments it just about doubles the likelihood that they will have difficulty with activities necessary for daily living. It’s a problem that is both a physical and a quality of life issue.
This might sound bad but there’s a positive: there’s a variety of ways that hearing loss can be managed. More significantly, serious health issues can be uncovered if you get a hearing test which could encourage you to lengthen your life expectancy by paying more attention to your health.
Why is Weak Health Linked With Hearing Loss?
Research undoubtedly shows a connection but the accurate cause and effect isn’t well known.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that other problems including greater risk of stroke and heart disease were observed in older individuals who had hearing loss.
These findings make sense when you understand more about the causes of hearing loss. Many instances of hearing loss and tinnitus are tied to heart disease since the blood vessels in the ear canal are affected by high blood pressure. When the blood vessels are shrunken – which can be due to smoking – the body’s blood has to work harder to keep the ears (and everything else) working which brings about higher blood pressure. Older adults who have heart problems and hearing loss frequently experience a whooshing noise in their ears, which can be caused by high blood pressure.
Hearing loss has also been connected to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of cognitive decline. Hearing specialists and other health care professionals believe there are numerous reasons why the two are connected: the brain needs to work overtime to understand conversations and words for one, which leaves less mental ability to actually process the words or do anything else. In other circumstances, difficulty communicating causes people with hearing loss to socialize less. This social isolation leads to anxiety and depression, which can have an extreme impact on a person’s mental health.
How Older Adults Can Manage Hearing Loss
There are several solutions available to manage hearing loss in older adults, but as is revealed by research, the smartest thing to do is deal with the problem as soon as you can before it has more extreme consequences.
Hearing aids are one kind of treatment that can be very effective in combating your hearing loss. There are several different types of hearing aids available, including small, subtle models that connect with Bluetooth technology. In addition, hearing aid technology has been maximizing basic quality-of-life issues. As an example, they let you hear better during your entertainment by allowing you to connect to your phone, computer, or TV and they block out background sound better than older models.
Older adults can also visit a nutritionist or consult with their doctor about changes to their diet to help prevent further hearing loss. 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 general health.