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 connection between hearing loss and total health in older adults.

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

People with neglected hearing loss, according to this research, might actually have a shorter lifespan. And, the possibility that they will have a hard time undertaking tasks necessary for everyday life just about doubles if the individual has both hearing and vision impairment. It’s both a physical issue and a quality of life issue.

This might sound bad but there’s a positive: several ways that hearing loss can be addressed. Even more importantly, getting tested can help uncover serious health concerns and spark you to take better care of yourself, which will increase your life expectancy.

Why is Weak Health Associated With Hearing Loss?

While the research is persuasive, cause and effect are nonetheless uncertain.

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

When you know what the causes of hearing loss are, these results make more sense. Countless instances of tinnitus and hearing loss are tied to heart disease since the blood vessels in the ear canal are impacted by high blood pressure. When you have shrunken blood vessels – which can be brought on by smoking – the blood in the body has to work harder to keep the ears (and everything else) working which produces higher blood pressure. Older adults who have heart problems and hearing loss often experience a whooshing noise in their ears, which is usually 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 professionals and hearing experts: the brain needs to work overtime to understand conversations and words for one, which allows less mental ability to actually process the words or do anything else. In other circumstances, lots of people with hearing loss tend to be less social, commonly as a result of the difficulty they have communicating. There can be an extreme affect on a person’s mental health from social isolation leading to depression and anxiety.

How Hearing Loss Can be Treated by Older Adults

There are a few solutions available to treat hearing loss in older adults, but as is shown by research, the best thing to do is deal with the issue as soon as you can before it has more serious consequences.

Hearing aids are one form of treatment that can work wonders in dealing with your hearing loss. There are several different styles of hearing aids available, including small, discreet models that are Bluetooth ready. Additionally, hearing aid technology has been improving basic quality-of-life issues. For example, they filter out background sound a lot better than older models and can be connected to computers, cell phones, and TV’s to let you hear better during the entertainment.

Older adults can also visit a nutritionist or consult with their physician 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 often be treated by adding more iron into your diet. An improved diet can help your other medical conditions and help you have better general health.

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