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

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

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

This study indicates that individuals with neglected hearing loss might enjoy “fewer years of life”. What’s more, they discovered that if untreated hearing loss occurred with vision impairments it just about doubles the probability that they will have a hard time with activities necessary for daily living. It’s an issue that is both a physical and a quality of life concern.

This may sound bad but there’s a positive: several ways that hearing loss can be treated. Even more importantly, having a hearing exam can help reveal serious health issues and inspire you to pay more attention to staying healthy, which will increase your life expectancy.

Why is Hearing Loss Linked With Weak Health?

Research definitely reveals a link but the accurate cause and effect isn’t well known.

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

These results make sense when you know more about the causes of hearing loss. Many instances of hearing loss and tinnitus 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 caused by smoking – the body needs to work harder to push the blood through which results in high blood pressure. High blood pressure in older adults with hearing impairment frequently causes them to hear a whooshing noise in their ears.

Hearing loss has also been connected to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other forms of cognitive decline. Hearing specialists and other health care professionals suspect there are several reasons why the two are connected: for one, the brain has to work harder to differentiate words in a conversation, which allows less mental capacity to actually process the words or do anything else. In other cases, lots of people with hearing loss tend to be less social, commonly because of the difficulty they have communicating. There can be a serious affect on a person’s mental health from social isolation resulting in depression and anxiety.

How Older Adults Can Treat Hearing Loss

There are a number of options available to deal with hearing loss in older adults, but as is shown by research, the best thing to do is deal with the problem as soon as possible before it has more extreme repercussions.

Hearing aids are one type of treatment that can be very effective in combating your hearing loss. There are small discreet versions of hearing aids that are Bluetooth ready and a variety of other options are also available. Also, basic quality of life has been enhancing as a result of hearing aid technology. For instance, they block out background noise much better than older models and can be connected to cell phones, TVs, and computers to allow for better hearing during the entertainment.

Older adults can also visit a nutritionist or contact their physician about changes to their diet to help prevent additional hearing loss. There are links between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for instance, which can often be treated by increasing the iron content in your diet. Changes to your diet could also positively affect other health issues, leading to an overall more healthy lifestyle.

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.