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Most people just accept hearing loss as a part of getting old like reading glasses or gray hair. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School reveals a link between hearing loss and total health in older adults.

Senior citizens with hearing or vision loss frequently struggle more with depression, cognitive decline, and communication troubles. That’s something you may have already read about. But did you know that hearing loss is also linked to shorter life expectancy?

People who have neglected hearing loss, according to this study, may actually have a shorter lifespan. What’s more, they found that if untreated hearing loss happened with vision impairments it nearly doubles the likelihood that they will have a tough time with tasks necessary for daily living. It’s an issue that is both a physical and a quality of life issue.

This might sound bad but there’s a positive: hearing loss, for older adults, can be treated through a variety of means. More significantly, major health issues can be discovered if you get a hearing test which could inspire you to lengthen your life expectancy by taking better care of yourself.

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

Research undoubtedly reveals a link but the exact cause and effect isn’t perfectly understood.

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

These findings make sense when you know more about the causes of hearing loss. Many cases 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 a consequence of smoking – the body needs to work harder to push the blood through which results in high blood pressure. High blood pressure in older adults with hearing impairment often causes them to hear a whooshing sound in their ears.

Hearing loss has also been connected to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of cognitive decline. Hearing specialists and other health professionals believe there are several reasons why the two are connected: the brain needs to work overtime to understand conversations and words for one, which leaves less mental capacity to actually process the words or do anything else. In other cases, lots of people who have hearing loss tend to be less social, usually as a result of the difficulty they have communicating. There can be an extreme affect on a person’s mental health from social separation leading to anxiety and depression.

How Hearing Loss Can be Treated by Older Adults

Older adults have several options for managing hearing loss, but as is shown by research, the best thing to do is deal with the problem as soon as you can before it has more extreme consequences.

Hearing aids are one type of treatment that can be very effective in fighting your hearing loss. There are numerous different models of hearing aids available, including small, discreet models that connect with Bluetooth technology. Additionally, hearing aid technology has been maximizing basic quality-of-life challenges. As an example, they let you hear better during your entertainment by allowing you to connect to your phone, computer, or TV and they filter out background noise better than older versions.

In order to prevent further hearing loss, older adults can consult with their doctor or a nutritionist about positive dietary changes. There are connections between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for instance, which can often be treated by increasing the iron content in your diet. Changes to your diet could also positively impact other health issues, leading to an overall more healthy lifestyle.

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