Whether it’s taking dance classes with your spouse or going for daily walks through York River State Park, regular physical activity keeps you healthy, active and brings enjoyment to your life.
However, research has shown that hearing loss can have a negative effect on physical performance.
Connection Between Physical Function and Hearing Loss
A study published in JAMA Network Open examined the connection between hearing loss and physical function among older adults in the United States. They used data from 2,956 patients collected between 2011-2019. Among those:
- 33% had normal hearing
- 40% had mild hearing loss
- 23% had moderate hearing loss
- 4% had severe hearing loss
The study found that hearing loss was associated with poorer physical performance, a faster decline in physical function and reduced walking endurance. The more severe the hearing loss, the worse certain aspects of physical performance, like walking endurance, became.
While the exact reason hearing loss is associated with poorer physical performance is unknown, there are several possibilities:
- Poor cardiovascular health, which can contribute to both poor physical performance and hearing loss.
- Hearing loss can affect balance, which can make activities such as walking much more difficult.
- Hearing loss can lead to isolation and depression, which can cause people to engage in less regular physical activity, which diminishes their physical performance.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Health
Being physically active can help protect your hearing and being proactive about your hearing health can help keep your body healthier. With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep you healthy:
- Get regular physical activity to reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems which can lead to hearing loss.
- If you have untreated hearing loss or are unsure if you might, schedule a hearing test with an audiologist. Hearing tests are simple, pain-free and offer same-day results for a quick diagnosis. Your audiologist will be able to determine what kind of hearing loss you have, how severe it is, and what kind of treatment is best.
- If your audiologist recommends hearing aids, work with them to figure out what model works best for your individual needs. Know that they will be with you to guide you through any questions or concerns you might have following your diagnosis. They are there to provide ongoing support to help you adjust to a whole new way of hearing the world.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call The Audiology Offices today.