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

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

Communication problems, cognitive decline, and depression have a higher occurrence in older people with vision or hearing loss. That’s something you may have already read about. But one thing you may not be aware of is that life expectancy can also be affected by hearing loss.

This study indicates that people with neglected hearing loss may enjoy “fewer years of life”. And, the likelihood that they will have a hard time undertaking activities necessary for daily life nearly doubles if the person 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: hearing loss, for older adults, can be managed through a variety of means. More significantly, serious health concerns can be discovered if you get a hearing exam which could encourage you to lengthen your life expectancy by paying more attention to your health.

Why is Hearing Loss Connected With Inferior Health?

Research definitely shows a connection but the specific cause and effect isn’t well understood.

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.

These findings make sense when you understand more about the causes of hearing loss. Countless 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 brought on by smoking – the blood in the body needs to work harder to keep the ears (and everything else) functioning which results in higher 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 linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of cognitive decline. Hearing specialists and other health professionals believe there are several reasons why the two are connected: the brain needs to work harder to decipher conversations and words for one, which saps out the brain’s capacity to do anything else. In other situations, difficulty communicating causes people who suffer from hearing loss to be less social. This social separation causes 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 the studies show, the best thing to do is address the issue as soon as you can before it has more extreme repercussions.

Hearing aids are one form of treatment that can be very effective in fighting your hearing loss. There are several different styles of hearing aids available, including small, subtle models that are Bluetooth ready. What’s more, hearing aid technology has been enhancing basic quality-of-life challenges. For example, they let you 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 models.

Older adults can also go to a nutritionist or talk to their primary care physician about changes to their diet to help prevent further hearing loss. There are links between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for instance, which can frequently be treated by adding more iron into your diet. A better diet can help your other medical issues and help you have better total health.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

Call or text for a no-obligation evaluation.

Schedule Now

Call us today.

Schedule Now