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Treating Hearing Loss Can Support Your Physical Ability & Well-Being 

Hearing loss has multifaceted effects. Not only does hearing loss impact hearing and communication, but it can also take a toll on physical health and wellness. Studies show that untreated hearing loss can strain physical health, impact mobility, and affect mental health by contributing to depressive symptoms. 

Link Between Hearing Loss and Reduced Physical Ability

Extensive research shows that hearing loss can adversely affect physical health and wellness. Studies show that living with impaired hearing (that is untreated) can reduce physicality – ability to make physical movements and engage in everyday activities. A few major studies that investigate the correlation between hearing loss and reduced physical ability include: 

  • 2021 Study Published in JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery. Researchers in Spain assessed the impact of hearing loss on physical health in older adults. This study involved evaluating the hearing and physical capacities of 1644 people who were 65 and older. Physical health was evaluated using a series of tests that measured weight, assessed physical movements, and evaluated balance. Researchers found that 13.6% of participants had hearing loss and after analyzing the data, they found an association between hearing loss and impaired lower extremity function, frailty syndrome, and disability in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). 
  • 2015 Study by University of Jyväskylä and the University of Tampere. Researchers based in Finland examined the impact of hearing loss on mobility. They did this by testing the hearing capacities and mobility for 848 people, ages 75-90. Participants were evaluated for two years and researchers found that people with hearing loss were more than twice as likely to limit their movements compared to people without hearing loss. This looked like making less movements, spending less time with daily and friends, participating less in everyday activities etc. 

Data from both studies highlight the impact hearing loss can have on physical health and mobility. Hearing loss can reduce people’s capacity to participate in physical activities and limits physical engagement. 

Impact of Hearing Loss on Physical Health and Wellness 

Hearing loss can significantly affect physical health and wellness in major ways. Untreated symptoms like tinnitus (ringing noise in the ears), distortion of sounds, and difficulty hearing when there is background noise prevent people from easily engaging in conversations. This strains communication which is an essential way we navigate everyday life. Untreated symptoms and strained communication can lead to: 

  • Social withdrawal: to cope with symptoms, people often avoid conversations as much as possible. This includes spending less time with loved ones, skipping out on social events, and participating less in hobbies and activities. Social withdrawal is a major effect of untreated hearing loss. 
  • Depressive symptoms: social withdrawal not only affects relationships but also impacts wellness by contributing to the development of depressive symptoms. Substantial research highlights that people with hearing loss can be twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms. This includes loneliness, isolation, anxiety etc. 
  • Increased health risks: in addition to depressive symptoms, extensive research also shows that hearing loss increases a number of health risks. This includes cognitive decline, falls, and accidental injuries. These risks can affect mobility and physical health. 

These effects result in people engaging less in everyday life and with other people. This impacts physical and mental health as well as happiness and quality of life. 

Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss 

Fortunately there are effective hearing healthcare services and solutions you can access to transform your hearing health and wellness. The first step is to have your hearing evaluated by a hearing healthcare specialist. This painless process measures your hearing capacities and identifies your hearing needs. The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids which are electronic devices that are used to absorb, amplify, and process speech as well as sound. These innovative and savvy devices provide the ears and brain with ample support, alleviating symptoms and maximizing one’s capacity to hear. This offers numerous benefits including strengthening communication, improving relationships, and enriching social life. Treatment also boosts physical health and happiness by supporting people to live active lives that they can fully participate in.

Contact us today to learn more about hearing loss treatment and to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation.