Woman improving her life expectancy by wearing hearing aids and working out is outside on a pier.

Just like reading glasses and graying hair, hearing loss is simply one of those things that many people accept as a part of the aging process. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School reveals a link between total health and hearing loss.

Communication problems, depression, and cognitive decline have a higher occurrence in senior citizens with vision or hearing loss. That’s something you might already have read about. But one thing you might not be aware of is that life expectancy can also be affected by hearing loss.

People who have neglected hearing loss, according to this research, might actually have a shorter lifespan. And, the possibility that they will have difficulty performing tasks needed for daily life almost doubles if the individual has both hearing and vision impairment. It’s a problem that is both a physical and a quality of life concern.

While this may sound like sad news, there is a positive spin: there’s a variety of ways that hearing loss can be addressed. More significantly, major health concerns can be revealed if you have a hearing exam which could encourage you to lengthen your life expectancy by paying more attention to your health.

Why is Poor Health Associated With Hearing Loss?

While the research is compelling, cause and effect are nonetheless uncertain.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that older adults with hearing loss had a tendency to have other issues, {such as} high rates of smoking, increased heart disease, and stroke.

When you understand what the causes of hearing loss are, these findings make more sense. Countless instances of hearing loss and tinnitus are tied to heart disease since high blood pressure affects the blood vessels in the ear canal. When you have shrunken blood vessels – which can be brought on by smoking – the body’s blood needs to work harder to keep the ears (and everything else) functioning which leads to higher blood pressure. High blood pressure in older adults with hearing impairment often causes them to hear a whooshing noise in their ears.

Hearing loss has also been connected to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of cognitive decline. There are several reasons for the two to be connected according to health professionals and hearing experts: the brain needs to work overtime to decipher conversations and words for one, which leaves less mental ability to actually process the words or do anything else. In other situations, lots of people who have hearing loss tend to be less social, frequently as a result of the difficulty they have communicating. There can be a severe impact on a person’s mental health from social isolation resulting in anxiety and depression.

How Older Adults Can Treat Hearing Loss

Older adults have a number of choices for treating hearing loss, but as the studies reveal, it is best to tackle these concerns early before they impact your total health.

Hearing aids are one kind of treatment that can work wonders in combating your hearing loss. There are numerous different styles of hearing aids available, including small, discreet models that connect with Bluetooth technology. Also, basic quality of life has been improving due to hearing aid technology. For instance, they enable you to hear better during your entertainment by allowing you to connect to your phone, computer, or TV and they filter out background sound better than older models.

So that you can prevent additional hearing loss, older adults can consult their physician or a nutritionist about positive dietary changes. There are connections between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for example, which can usually be treated by adding more iron into your diet. A better diet can help your other medical conditions and help you have better overall health.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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