Most people just accept hearing loss as a part of growing old like reading glasses or gray hair. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School demonstrates a connection between hearing loss and total health in older adults.
Communication problems, depression, and cognitive decline have a higher occurrence in senior citizens with vision or hearing loss. You might have already read about that. But one thing you might not be aware of is that life expectancy can also be influenced by hearing loss.
People who have untreated hearing loss, according to this research, may actually have a reduced lifespan. And, the likelihood that they will have difficulty performing activities required for everyday life just about doubles if the person 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 silver lining: there’s a variety of ways that hearing loss can be addressed. More significantly, major health concerns can be uncovered if you have a hearing test which could inspire you to lengthen your life expectancy by paying more attention to your health.
What’s The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Weak Health?
Research undoubtedly shows a connection but the specific cause and effect isn’t perfectly known.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that other problems such as increased risk of stroke and heart disease were observed in older individuals who were suffering hearing loss.
These findings make sense when you understand more about the causes of hearing loss. Countless cases of hearing loss and tinnitus are tied to heart disease since the blood vessels in the ear canal are impacted by high blood pressure. When the blood vessels are shrunken – which can be brought on by smoking – the body needs to work harder to push the blood through which results in high blood pressure. Older adults who have heart conditions and hearing loss often experience a whooshing sound in their ears, which can be caused by high blood pressure.
Hearing loss has also been linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of cognitive decline. There are a number of reasons for the two to be connected according to health care professionals and hearing specialists: for starters, the brain has to work harder to differentiate words in a conversation, which taps out the brain’s capacity to do anything else. In other scenarios, difficulty communicating causes people who suffer from 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 Treat Hearing Loss
There are a number of options available to manage hearing loss in older adults, but as is shown by research, it is smart to tackle these concerns early before they impact your general health.
Hearing aids are one kind of treatment that can be very effective in fighting your hearing loss. There are small discreet models of hearing aids that are Bluetooth ready and a variety of other options are also available. Also, basic quality of life has been improving because of hearing aid technology. For example, they filter out background sound a lot better than older versions and can be connected to computers, cell phones, and TV’s to allow for better hearing during the entertainment.
So that you can stop additional hearing loss, older adults can seek advice from their doctor or a nutritionist about positive dietary changes. There are connections between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for instance, which can often be treated by increasing the iron content in your diet. An improved diet can help your other medical conditions and help you have better overall health.