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 connection between general health and hearing loss.
Communication troubles, cognitive decline, and depression have a higher occurrence in older people with vision or hearing loss. You may already have read about that. But did you realize that hearing loss is also linked to shorter life expectancy?
People who have neglected hearing loss, according to this study, might actually have a reduced lifespan. In addition, they discovered that if untreated hearing loss happened with vision impairments it nearly doubles the likelihood that they will have difficulty with activities necessary for daily living. It’s both a physical problem and a quality of life problem.
While this may sound like bad news, there is a silver lining: hearing loss, for older adults, can be managed through a variety of methods. Even more significantly, getting tested can help reveal serious health issues and inspire you to take better care of yourself, which will increase your life expectancy.
Why is Weak Health Connected With Hearing Loss?
While the research is interesting, cause and effect are still uncertain.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that other problems like greater risk of stroke and heart disease were seen in older individuals who had hearing loss.
These results make sense when you know more about the causes of hearing loss. Many instances of tinnitus and hearing loss are linked to heart disease since the blood vessels in the ear canal are affected by high blood pressure. When you have shrunken blood vessels – which can be a consequence of smoking – the body needs to work harder to push the blood through which leads to high blood pressure. Older adults who have heart problems and hearing loss often experience a whooshing sound 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. There are a number of reasons for the two to be linked according to health professionals and hearing experts: the brain needs to work harder to understand conversations and words for one, which allows less mental ability to actually process the words or do anything else. In other circumstances, difficulty communicating causes people who suffer from hearing loss to be less social. This social separation causes anxiety and depression, which can have a major impact on a person’s mental health.
How Hearing Loss Can be Treated by Older Adults
There are a number of options available to treat hearing loss in older adults, but as is revealed by research, the best thing to do is deal with the issue as soon as you can before it has more serious repercussions.
Hearing aids are one form of treatment that can work wonders 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 enhancing because of hearing aid technology. As an example, they enable you to 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 versions.
Older adults can also visit a nutritionist or talk to their doctor about changes to their diet to help prevent additional hearing loss. There are connections between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for instance, which can frequently be treated by increasing the iron content in your diet. A better diet can help your other medical issues and help you have better overall health.