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

Much like reading glasses and graying hair, hearing loss is just one of those things that many people accept as a part of growing old. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School shows a connection between general health and hearing loss.

Senior citizens with hearing or vision loss commonly struggle more with cognitive decline, depression, and communication problems. You may have already read about that. But did you realize that hearing loss is also linked to shorter life expectancy?

People with neglected hearing loss, according to this research, may actually have a reduced lifespan. Additionally, they found that if untreated hearing loss occurred with vision impairments it nearly doubles the likelihood that they will have difficulty with tasks necessary for day-to-day living. It’s an issue that is both a physical and a quality of life concern.

While this may sound like sad news, there is a silver lining: there’s a variety of ways that hearing loss can be addressed. More significantly, major health problems can be found if you get a hearing test which could encourage you to lengthen your life expectancy by taking better care of yourself.

Why is Weak Health Connected With Hearing Loss?

Research certainly reveals a link but the accurate cause and effect isn’t perfectly known.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that older adults with hearing loss tended 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 findings make more sense. Many 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 the blood vessels are shrunken – which can be due to smoking – the body has to work harder to squeeze the blood through which leads to high blood pressure. Older adults with heart problems and hearing loss frequently experience a whooshing sound in their ears, which can be caused by high blood pressure.

Hearing loss has also been linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of cognitive decline. Hearing specialists and other health professionals think there are numerous reasons why the two are connected: the brain has to work overtime to decipher conversations and words for one, which leaves less mental ability to actually process the words or do anything else. In other situations, difficulty communicating causes people with hearing loss to be less social. There can be a severe impact on a person’s mental health from social isolation resulting in depression and anxiety.

How Hearing Loss Can be Treated by Older Adults

Older adults have several choices for managing hearing loss, but as is revealed by research, the best thing to do is address the issue as soon as possible before it has more serious repercussions.

Hearing aids are one kind of treatment that can work wonders in combating your hearing loss. There are numerous different styles of hearing aids available, including small, subtle models that connect with Bluetooth technology. Additionally, hearing aid technology has been maximizing basic quality-of-life challenges. For 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.

In order to prevent 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 often be treated by adding more iron into your diet. Changes to your diet could also positively affect other health conditions, leading to an overall more healthy lifestyle.

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