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 reveals a link between hearing loss and overall health in older adults.
Communication troubles, cognitive decline, and depression have a higher occurrence in senior citizens with vision or hearing loss. You might have already read about that. But did you realize that hearing loss is also connected to shorter life expectancy?
This research indicates that people with neglected hearing loss may enjoy “fewer years of life”. What’s more, they discovered that if untreated hearing loss occurred with vision problems it just about doubles the likelihood that they will have difficulty with activities necessary for daily living. It’s an issue that is both a physical and a quality of life issue.
While this may sound like sad news, there is a silver lining: hearing loss, for older people, can be treated through a variety of means. 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 Hearing Loss Connected With Inferior Health?
While the research is interesting, cause and effect are nonetheless not clear.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that other issues such as increased risk of stroke and heart disease were seen in older people who had hearing loss.
These results make sense when you understand more about the causes of hearing loss. Many instances of hearing loss and tinnitus are linked 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 has to work harder to squeeze the blood through which leads to high blood pressure. Older adults who have heart troubles 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 think there are numerous reasons why the two are connected: the brain needs to work overtime to understand conversations and words for one, which taps out the brain’s capacity to do anything else. In other cases, many people with hearing loss tend to be less social, frequently because of the difficulty they have communicating. There can be an extreme affect on a person’s mental health from social separation resulting in anxiety and depression.
How Older Adults Can Manage Hearing Loss
Older adults have several options for treating hearing loss, but as is revealed by research, the best thing to do is address the problem as soon as possible before it has more extreme consequences.
Hearing aids are one kind of treatment that can be very effective in dealing with your hearing loss. There are numerous different types of hearing aids available, including small, discreet models that are Bluetooth ready. Also, basic quality of life has been enhancing because of hearing aid technology. For example, they let you hear better during your entertainment by allowing you to connect to your phone, computer, or TV and they filter out background noise better than older versions.
In order to avoid further hearing loss, older adults can consult their physician or a nutritionist about positive dietary changes. There are links between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for example, which can frequently be treated by adding more iron into your diet. Changes to your diet could also positively impact other health conditions, leading to an overall more healthy lifestyle.