Tinnitus and Hearing Health Calgary, Calgary AL

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 simply one of those things that most people accept as a part of growing old. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School demonstrates a link between hearing loss and total health in older adults.

Communication troubles, depression, and cognitive decline have a higher occurrence in senior citizens with vision or hearing loss. That’s something you might already have read about. But one thing you may not recognize is that life expectancy can also be affected by hearing loss.

This research indicates that people with untreated hearing loss may enjoy “fewer years of life”. And, the possibility that they will have difficulty undertaking tasks necessary for daily life nearly doubles if the individual has both hearing and vision impairment. It’s a problem that is both a physical and a quality of life concern.

While this might sound like sad news, there is a silver lining: hearing loss, for older people, can be treated through a variety of means. Even more importantly, getting tested can help reveal serious health concerns and spark you to take better care of yourself, which will improve your life expectancy.

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

While the research is interesting, cause and effect are still unclear.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that older adults with hearing loss tended to have other problems, {such assuch as} high rates of smoking, greater chance of heart disease, and stroke.

These findings make sense when you understand 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 caused by smoking – the blood in the body needs to push harder to keep the ears (and everything else) functioning which results in higher blood pressure. Older adults with heart troubles and hearing loss frequently experience a whooshing sound in their ears, which can be caused by high blood pressure.

Hearing loss has also been connected to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other forms of cognitive decline. Hearing specialists and other health professionals suspect there are several reasons why the two are connected: for starters, the brain has to work overtime to distinguish words in a conversation, which leaves less mental capacity 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 an extreme impact on a person’s mental health from social separation leading to depression and anxiety.

How Older Adults Can Treat Hearing Loss

There are several solutions available to treat hearing loss in older adults, but as the studies demonstrate, it’s smart to tackle these issues early before they affect your general health.

Hearing aids are one form of treatment that can be very effective in dealing with your hearing loss. There are several different types of hearing aids available, including small, subtle models that are Bluetooth ready. What’s more, hearing aid technology has been maximizing basic quality-of-life issues. 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 noise better than older models.

Older adults can also visit a nutritionist or talk to their primary care physician about changes to their diet to help stop further hearing loss. There are links between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for example, which can frequently be treated by adding more iron into your diet. Changes to your diet could also positively affect other health conditions, resulting in an overall more healthy lifestyle.

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