American Hearing & Audiology - Conway, AR

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

Most people just accept hearing loss as a part of aging like gray hair or reading glasses. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School reveals a link between overall health and hearing loss.

Communication troubles, cognitive decline, and depression have a higher occurrence in older people with vision or hearing loss. You might already have read about that. But did you know that hearing loss is also linked to shorter life expectancy?

People who have neglected hearing loss, according to this research, might actually have a shorter lifespan. And, the possibility that they will have difficulty carrying out activities required for daily life just about 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.

This might sound bad but there’s a positive: hearing loss, for older people, can be managed through a variety of methods. More significantly, major health issues can be found if you have a hearing exam which could inspire you to lengthen your life expectancy by taking better care of yourself.

Why is Hearing Loss Connected With Weak Health?

Research undoubtedly reveals a connection but the specific cause and effect isn’t perfectly understood.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that seniors with hearing loss tended to have other issues, {such as} high rates of smoking, greater chance of heart disease, and stroke.

These findings make sense when you know more about the causes of hearing loss. Countless instances of tinnitus and hearing loss are tied to heart disease since high blood pressure affects the blood vessels in the ear canal. 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 leads to high blood pressure. Older adults who have heart conditions and hearing loss often experience a whooshing sound in their ears, which is usually caused by high blood pressure.

Hearing loss has also been connected to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of cognitive decline. Hearing specialists and other health professionals think there are several reasons why the two are connected: the brain has to work overtime to understand conversations and words for one, which saps out the brain’s capacity to do anything else. In other circumstances, many people with hearing loss tend to be less social, usually due to the difficulty they have communicating. This social isolation leads to depression and anxiety, which can have an extreme impact on a person’s mental health.

How Hearing Loss Can be Managed by Older Adults

There are a few options available to treat hearing loss in older adults, but as the studies demonstrate, the best thing to do is address the problem as soon as you can before it has more extreme consequences.

Hearing aids are one kind of treatment that can work wonders in dealing with your hearing loss. There are several different styles of hearing aids available, including small, subtle models that are Bluetooth ready. Additionally, 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 go to a nutritionist or talk to their primary care physician about changes to their diet to help prevent additional hearing loss. There are connections between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for example, which can usually 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.

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