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

Many people just accept hearing loss as a part of aging like reading glasses or gray hair. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School reveals a link between total health and hearing loss.

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

This research shows that those with neglected hearing loss might enjoy “fewer years of life”. And, the possibility that they will have difficulty performing tasks needed for daily life just about 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 may sound like sad news, there is a silver lining: hearing loss, for older adults, can be managed through a variety of means. More significantly, serious health problems can be revealed if you get a hearing test which could inspire you to lengthen your life expectancy by paying more attention to your health.

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

Research definitely reveals a connection but the specific cause and effect isn’t perfectly understood.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that older adults with hearing loss had a tendency to have other issues, {such 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. Countless instances of hearing loss and tinnitus are tied to heart disease since the blood vessels in the ear canal are affected by high blood pressure. When the blood vessels are shrunken – which can be caused by smoking – the body has to work harder to squeeze the blood through which leads to high blood pressure. Older adults who have heart conditions and hearing loss often experience a whooshing noise in their ears, which is usually caused by high blood pressure.

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

How Older Adults Can Manage Hearing Loss

There are a number of solutions available to treat hearing loss in older adults, but as the studies show, the smartest thing to do is deal with the problem as soon as possible before it has more severe consequences.

Hearing aids are one form of treatment that can work wonders in dealing with your hearing loss. There are small discreet versions of hearing aids that are Bluetooth ready and an assortment of other options are also available. In addition, hearing aid technology has been enhancing basic quality-of-life challenges. For instance, they block out background sound much better than older versions and can be connected to cell phones, TVs, and computers to let you hear better during the entertainment.

Older adults can also go to a nutritionist or contact their physician about changes to their diet to help counter further hearing loss. There are connections 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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