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

Most people just accept hearing loss as a part of growing old like reading glasses or gray hair. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School shows a link between general health and hearing loss.

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

People who have untreated hearing loss, according to this research, might actually have a reduced lifespan. Additionally, they discovered that if untreated hearing loss occurred with vision problems it almost doubles the probability that they will have a hard time with activities necessary for day-to-day living. It’s both a physical issue and a quality of life problem.

While this may sound like sad news, there is a silver lining: hearing loss, for older adults, can be treated through a variety of methods. Even more importantly, getting tested can help uncover major health issues and spark you to pay more attention to staying healthy, which will improve your life expectancy.

Why is Weak Health Linked With Hearing Loss?

Research undoubtedly reveals a connection but the accurate 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, {likesuch as} high rates of smoking, greater chance of heart disease, and stroke.

When you know 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 impacted by high blood pressure. When you have shrunken blood vessels – which can be caused by smoking – the body has to work harder to push the blood through which leads to high blood pressure. High blood pressure in older adults who have hearing loss frequently causes them to hear a whooshing sound in their ears.

Hearing loss has also been linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of cognitive decline. There are a number of reasons for the two to be connected according to health professionals and hearing specialists: for one, the brain has to work overtime to distinguish words in a conversation, which allows less mental ability to actually process the words or do anything else. In other cases, many people with hearing loss tend to be less social, frequently due to the difficulty they have communicating. This social isolation leads to depression and anxiety, which can have an extreme impact on a person’s mental health.

How Hearing Loss Can be Treated by Older Adults

Older adults have several options for treating hearing loss, but as is revealed by research, the smartest thing to do is deal with the problem as soon as you can before it has more extreme repercussions.

Hearing aids are one kind of treatment that can work wonders in fighting your hearing loss. There are numerous different types of hearing aids available, including small, discreet models that are Bluetooth ready. Also, basic quality of life has been enhancing because of hearing aid technology. For example, they block out background noise much better than older versions and can be connected to computers, cell phones, and TV’s to let you hear better during the entertainment.

In order to stop additional hearing loss, older adults can consult with their physician or a nutritionist about positive dietary changes. There are connections 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 overall health.

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