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Living Longer With Hearing Loss

It’s Not Just About Hearing

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Hearing loss can affect not only your well-being but also your overall quality of life. If you have hearing loss, read on to for ways to be the happiest, healthiest you.  

Hearing Loss and Falls Are Linked

Research backs up the connection between hearing loss and falls. In one study, those with at least a mild hearing loss fell more often than those with healthy hearing. In fact, the odds of a fall increased as hearing loss worsened — falls were 1.4 times more likely for each 10-decibel increase in hearing loss. One possible cause is that hearing loss robs your brain of resources. As more brainpower becomes devoted to hearing, less is available for postural control, which increases the risk of falling. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA):

  • Falling is the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans.
  • Falls threaten safety and independence, and they generate enormous economic and personal costs.
  • Falls result in more than three million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 32,000 deaths.

 

Hearing Technology Can Help

In a study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, participants with hearing loss had better balance when using hearing aids than when they didn’t. Senior author Timothy E. Hullar explained they seemed to use “the sound information coming through their hearing aids as auditory reference points or landmarks to help maintain balance.”  

Lifestyle and Hearing Are Linked

A study done by Age and Ageing looked at hearing loss alongside disability and mortality in older men. The study found that, compared with those with no hearing loss, those with hearing loss have a greater risk of mobility problems and difficulties when performing daily activities. It also found that men with hearing loss have a greater risk of dying of any cause. In a different study, it was reported that hearing loss is 5.5 times more prevalent in men than in women. In particular, those with high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as smokers of more than 20 years, are more likely to have a hearing loss.  

Hearing Technology Can Help

A study done by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) found that people who used hearing aids reported an increased sense of independence and safety, as well as improvements in depression, anxiety, and social isolation compared with the time before they treated their hearing loss.  

Nutrition Affects Your Hearing

Nutrients are a great first-line defense against hearing loss, especially folate and omega-3 fatty acids. Folate, a B vitamin, helps prevent age-related hearing loss. It does this by regulating the amount of homocysteine (an amino acid) in your system. A lack of homocysteine reduces blood flow to the inner ear, resulting in hearing loss. Good sources of folate include broccoli, leafy green vegetables, pulses, and liver. Omega-3 fatty acids are a building block of your cell membranes. They fight inflammation, too. These are two properties that make omega-3 fatty acids ideal protectors of hearing health, and research backs this up. It’s well established that omega-3 fatty acids do, indeed, prevent age-related hearing loss. Good sources of this nutrient are fish, nuts, seeds, plant oils, and fortified foods.  

Hearing Technology Can Help

If you do have age-related hearing loss, it’s easy to miss out on children laughing in another room, birds chirping, or your sweetheart’s whispered “I love you.” It’s these little moments that make life so rich. But hearing technology is now so advanced that you can adjust your settings to your surroundings.  


  Don’t miss another moment — contact us today!