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Posted on Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Changes in Hearing Impact Whole Body Health

Woman stands on beach considering impact of hearing on whole body health.

Healthy hearing continues to be shown to have a vast impact on whole body health, both mental and physical. In the past, studies have tied changes in hearing to an increased likelihood of falls and mental decline. The most recent study supports a growing body of knowledge that indicates a shift in hearing is also tied to a decline in overall health and even with an increase in length of illnesses and visits to the hospital.

The latest research done by Johns Hopkins supports other research that indicates overall health is inextricably tied to good hearing health. The research done on over a thousand people found that those with a deficit in hearing where 32% more likely to be admitted into hospital over a period of time.

The study also found an astounding rise in the levels of adults with hearing changes who have longer periods of illness or injury. Adults with hearing changes were 36% more likely to endure ten days or more of illness and injury. These adults were also 57% more likely to have deep emotional episodes including depression and anxiety. These findings are an important clue into how parts of the body, like the ears and hearing, support in unknown ways both physical and emotional health. According to Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D. quoted in an article posted on Science Daily, "Hearing loss may have a profoundly detrimental effect on older people's physical and mental well-being, and even health care resources."

Commitment to hearing health is a commitment to whole body health. The research indicates that individuals need to take it upon themselves to maintain good hear and to keep up regular visits to a qualified hearing health professional. In addition to avoiding loud music and using earplugs when dealing with sounds that could damage hearing--even a hairdryer can damage hearing over a prolonged period--there are certain nutritional aspects that can help support hearing health.

  • Foods to avoid: An Australian study reported on in the Journal of Nutrition, has shown that diets high in sugar and carbohydrates detrimentally impacts hearing. A similar study showed that diets high in cholesterol also contribute to hearing loss normally associated with aging.
  • Foods to increase: Antioxidants like B12, folic acid, Omega 3, and vitamin A are important because they help fight off damage free radicals can do to hearing. Antioxidants are found in high quantities in healthy leafy greens and other foods like lentils, dried beans, and bananas.
  • Three other ways to protect your hearing are shown in the video below.

    If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

    References

    Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Hearing loss in older adults tied to more hospitalizations and poorer physical and mental health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130611161845.htm (accessed April 8, 2014).

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