How Does Hearing Loss Affect Quality of Life in the Elderly?



Hearing loss is a common issue for the elderly, as 1 in 3 people between 65 and 74 years old experience hearing loss, and 50% of those above 75 years old have difficulty hearing. Many of us know that people with hearing impairment may have difficulty understanding and communicate with others. This can increase the risk of depression and loneliness. However, one thing you may not be aware of is that hearing loss can impact life expectancy. Let us examine how hearing loss affects the quality of life.

What Does Research Say About Hearing Loss and Health?

A study reveals a possible link between hearing loss and health in older adults.

  • People with an untreated hearing impairment might have a reduced lifespan.
  • If vision loss occurs along with untreated hearing loss, the patient’s ability to conduct routine activities of daily life can be impacted, which is cause for concern about both quality of life and overall lifespan.

Another study shows that sudden sensorineural hearing loss is linked with a risk of stroke. Many cases of hearing loss are linked with heart disease as well. When you have narrowed blood vessels, your body has to work harder to pump blood, which often results in high blood pressure. This can impact the ear canal’s blood vessels, reducing their blood flow and thus causing hearing loss. According to this study, hearing loss may cause atrophy in the brain.

As untreated hearing loss affects your life and can cause several serious conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, brain atrophy, and cognitive decline, it may reduce life expectancy.

Health Risks Associated with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss also is linked with physical and mental health issues. Here we know the side effects of hearing loss on physical and mental health.

Depression

A study reveals that people with hearing loss experienced higher rates of depression than people without hearing loss. Check out this blog to understand the link between hearing loss and depression.

Heart Disease

According to a study, low-frequency hearing loss is a possible sign that the patient may have the cerebrovascular disease or is at risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cognitive Decline

A study uncovers that hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive impairment and incident cognitive impairment in community-dwelling elderly, which include:

Dementia

According to a study:

  • People with mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia
  • People with moderate hearing loss are three times more likely to develop dementia
  • People with severe hearing loss are five times more likely to develop dementia
Alzheimer’s disease

A study reveals that older adults with hearing loss have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s compared to those without hearing loss.

How Older Adults Can Manage Hearing Loss

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are often the best and most effective solution to manage hearing loss. There are different types and sizes of hearing aids available, with features and capabilities suited to just about any kind of hearing loss and lifestyle. Work with your audiologist to choose the ones that meet your hearing requirements, personal preferences, and budget.

Diet Changes

There is a link between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss. If you believe you may have hearing impairment caused by iron deficiency, speak to a medical professional for the recommended treatment to help improve hearing and prevent other medical conditions.

Relevant article: Hearing Loss in Older Adults

When to See an Audiologist

Whether you have a sudden loss of hearing in one ear, experience ringing in the ears, or have difficulty hearing certain words or sounds; you must visit an audiologist for a hearing test and further diagnosis and care.

If you are looking for the best and most experienced audiologist near you, contact us today at Hoffmann Audiology. Our leading audiologist, Dr. Chris Hoffmann, will evaluate your hearing and recommend the best treatment options.

 


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Chris Lin Hoffmann

Dr. Chris Hoffmann is an audiologist who has been involved in hearing sciences for over 20 years. Her passion for helping people with their hearing led her to establish Hoffmann Audiology hearing clinic. Dr. Hoffmann has more than 14 years of clinical knowledge in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.

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