The link between hearing and your health
It's not uncommon for us to experience impaired hearing as we grow older. Called age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, it's one of the many hearing conditions that affects around 1 in 6 Australians, according to the Australian Network on Disability.
Presbycusis can happen gradually due to minute changes in your middle or inner ear. Tiny hairs that line these areas can be damaged, meaning the cochlea, or sense organ, in your ear doesn't work correctly in relaying signals of sound to your brain.
That's why it's so important for our health that we go for regular hearing checks, especially as we retire and enter senior housing. Untreated, hearing loss can have an impact on your quality of life, as well as other health conditions. There are many clinics in Australia that provide free hearing tests so read more to find out how your hearing is linked to your health.
Hearing for better health
You've already been educated about how untreated hearing loss can lead to a decline in cognitive abilities. Using your hearing aid or other listening devices can help prevent that from happening, hence the urgency to treat a hearing loss condition as soon as possible.
It's not worth being self-conscious about wearing a hearing aid or feeling like such a device 'ages' you. A hearing condition (not including age-related hearing loss) can affect people of all ages, and Sound Check Australia states that it can even affect young ones in the womb.
In fact, modern technology has advanced so far that there are many hearing aid options that are barely detectable. Don't compromise on conversations with your loved ones just to avoid wearing one. You'll want to be able to enjoy all the activities and events that your retirement community has to offer, as well as when you go out to visit your family.
A link to diabetes?
A hearing loss condition has been found to be more common in those with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) explains that though scientists do not know the exact link between the blood glucose condition and hearing loss, the high correlation of the two occurring in conjunction is significant.
The ADA goes on to explain a theory on why there may be a link – it is hypothesised that high blood glucose levels may cause damage to the blood vessels in your inner ear, leading to a hearing impairment.
While both these conditions can be easily managed, prevention is always better than a cure. Spread the word amongst your retirement community and go with friends to get your hearing checked out for better health.