The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Life Expectancy

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

Just like graying hair and reading glasses, hearing loss is simply one of those things that many people accept as a part of the aging process. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School reveals a link between hearing loss and overall health in older adults.

Senior citizens with hearing or vision loss frequently struggle more with depression, cognitive decline, and communication problems. 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 may enjoy “fewer years of life”. In addition, they found that if untreated hearing loss happened with vision impairments it just about doubles the probability that they will have a hard time with activities necessary for daily living. It’s both a physical issue and a quality of life problem.

This may sound bad but there’s a positive: several ways that hearing loss can be treated. More significantly, major health issues can be uncovered if you have a hearing test which could encourage you to lengthen your life expectancy by paying more attention to your health.

What’s The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Weak Health?

Research definitely reveals a link but the specific cause and effect isn’t perfectly known.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that other problems such as increased risk of stroke and heart disease were observed in older individuals who were suffering hearing loss.

These results make sense when you know more about the causes of hearing loss. Countless cases of hearing loss and tinnitus are linked 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 due to smoking – the body’s blood needs to work harder to keep the ears (and everything else) working which brings about higher blood pressure. High blood pressure in older adults who have hearing impairment often causes them to hear a whooshing sound in their ears.

Hearing loss has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other types of cognitive decline. There are a number of reasons for the two to be connected according to health professionals and hearing experts: for starters, the brain needs to work harder to distinguish words in a conversation, which taps out the brain’s capacity to do anything else. In other situations, difficulty communicating causes people with hearing loss to socialize less. This social isolation leads to anxiety and depression, which can have an extreme impact on a person’s mental health.

How Hearing Loss Can be Treated by Older Adults

There are several options available to deal with hearing loss in older adults, but as is shown by research, it’s best to deal with these concerns early before they impact your overall health.

Hearing aids are one form of treatment that can work wonders in dealing with 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 as a result of hearing aid technology. For instance, they block out background sound far better than older designs and can be connected to cell phones, TVs, and computers to allow for better hearing during the entertainment.

So that you can stop additional hearing loss, older adults can consult their doctor or a nutritionist about positive dietary changes. There are links between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for instance, which can frequently be treated by adding more iron into your diet. Changes to your diet could also positively impact other health issues, resulting in 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.