Is Hearing Loss Bad for Our Health?
According to the American Academy of Audiologists (AAA) there are as many as 36 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss, with more than half of that number younger than age 65. Given AAA also reports hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the U.S., it’s fair to say that most Americans are generally unaware of this “epidemic”. The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) reports that hearing loss affects our health in a number of specific areas.
10 Things You Should Know About Hearing Loss & Your Health
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) reports that recognizing and treating hearing loss may help more than just your hearing. BHI is working to raise awareness of the link between hearing loss and other important health issues.
BHI’s list of 10 things you should know about how hearing loss can affect other aspects of your health:
- Hearing loss is tied to depression. Hearing loss has been associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages.
- Hearing loss and dementia are linked. A Johns Hopkins study of older adults found that hearing loss actually accelerates brain function decline. Some experts believe that hearing aids could potentially delay or prevent dementia.
- Hearing loss is more common in people with diabetes. Studies show that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss.
- Hearing health and heart health are linked. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.
- Fitness may help your hearing. Higher levels of physical activity have been associated with a lower risk of hearing loss.
- Hearing loss may put you at risk of falling. Studies show that people (aged 40 to 69) with even mild hearing loss are more likely to have a history of falling.
- Hospitalization may be more likely for those with hearing loss.
- The risk of dying may be higher for older men with hearing loss. Men with hearing loss were found to have an increased risk of mortality, but hearing aids made a difference.
- Common pain relievers may cause hearing loss. Regular use of aspirin, NSAIDs, or acetaminophen has been associated with an increased risk of hearing loss.
- Kidney disease is linked to hearing loss. Research has shown moderate chronic kidney disease to be associated with an increased risk of hearing loss.
More details on these findings, along with other hearing health information, is available on the BHI website.
- See more at: http://www.betterhearing.org/
8 Tips for a Better Conversation With Someone With a Hearing Loss
Remember that the volume is only part of the problem. Clarity of the sounds is also really important.
-Provide context before and while speaking.
-Get their attention before speaking.
-Make sure they can see your lips.
-Enunciate clearly and speak with a steady rate.
-Be aware of the surroundings.
-Take turns speaking.
-Be prepared to repeat or rephrase.
-Keep your sense of humor.