Hearing & Health: It’s All Connected

As one of the most chronic public health challenges, hearing loss can affect every aspect of life from relationships and social engagement to physical health, self-image, and more. It’s also associated with some common conditions and behaviors, or comorbidities, that can signal the need for hearing care. Research has shown that proper hearing care and technology can prevent or improve each of these risks.

Did You Know?

  • FALLS — Research shows a greater risk of falls among people with hearing impairment. In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2012 and featuring 2,017 adults ages 40 to 69, those with mild hearing loss were nearly three times as likely to have reported a fall.
  • BRAIN HEALTH — Untreated hearing problems can make the brain reorganize its connections that respond to sound. Per the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), research has also suggested an association between poorer hearing and reduced gray matter in the area of the brain crucial to speech comprehension. With early treatment, hearing aids and other strategies can help the brain retain normal connections.
  • DEPRESSION — Multiple studies support a link between hearing loss and depression, according to the BHI. Older adults with hearing loss, for example, have a 57 percent greater risk of experiencing deep depression than those without it, per Johns Hopkins research. Adults treated with hearing aids, however, report improved mental health and other benefits, per the National Council on Aging.
  • SMOKING — Studies such as “Effect of Smoking on Hearing Loss” suggest that smokers are at greater risk for hearing impairment than their nonsmoking counterparts. Quitting the tobacco habit, however, could help keep hearing and other aspects of health in better shape.
  • MORTALITY — Hearing impairment increases mortality risks among older men, per a study supported in part by the National Institutes of Health and summarized by the BHI. The use of hearing aids among older men and women, however, was found to lower mortality risk compared to those with untreated hearing problems.

 
Catching hearing problems early can make a difference in your long-term quality of life. If you notice a change in your hearing, have a condition that may increase your risk of hearing impairment, or haven’t had a hearing checkup in at least a year, call us today to schedule an evaluation.