Call or Text Us Today! 760-289-3838
Robby Young's Hearing Aid Center - Coachella Valley, CA

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 reveals a connection between general health and hearing loss.

Communication problems, cognitive decline, and depression 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 might not be aware of is that life expectancy can also be influenced by hearing loss.

This research suggests that individuals with untreated hearing loss may enjoy “fewer years of life”. And, the possibility that they will have a hard time carrying out activities required for everyday life nearly doubles if the individual has both hearing and vision impairment. It’s both a physical problem and a quality of life issue.

While this may sound like sad news, there is a silver lining: hearing loss, for older people, can be treated through a variety of methods. Even more significantly, having a hearing exam can help uncover major health problems and inspire you to pay more attention to staying healthy, which will increase your life expectancy.

Why is Poor Health Connected With Hearing Loss?

While the research is persuasive, cause and effect are still not clear.

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

When you understand what the causes of hearing loss are, these findings make more sense. Many cases of tinnitus and hearing loss are tied to heart disease since high blood pressure impacts the blood vessels in the ear canal. When you have shrunken blood vessels – which can be brought on by smoking – the blood in the body has to push harder to keep the ears (and everything else) working which produces higher blood pressure. High blood pressure in older adults with hearing loss often causes them to hear a whooshing noise 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 care professionals and hearing specialists: for one, the brain has to work overtime to differentiate words in a conversation, which saps out the brain’s capacity to do anything else. In other cases, many people who have hearing loss tend to be less social, usually because of the difficulty they have communicating. 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 Managed by Older Adults

There are several solutions available to deal with hearing loss in older adults, but as the studies show, it’s best to deal with these concerns early before they affect your overall health.

Hearing aids are one form of treatment that can work wonders in fighting your hearing loss. There are numerous different types of hearing aids available, including small, subtle models that connect with Bluetooth technology. Also, basic quality of life has been enhancing because of hearing aid technology. For instance, they filter out background noise far better than older versions and can be connected to computers, cell phones, and TV’s to allow for better hearing during the entertainment.

Older adults can also go to a nutritionist or consult with their primary care physician about changes to their diet to help prevent additional hearing loss. There are links between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for example, which can usually be treated by adding more iron into your diet. Changes to your diet could also positively affect other health issues, resulting in an overall more healthy lifestyle.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call or Text Us Today