Research has shown that hearing loss can have a negative effect on physical performance.
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.
Possible Causes for Reduced Physical Function
The researchers who conducted the study did not offer a definitive cause as to why physical function was reduced in those with hearing loss. However, they did speculate as to some possible reasons hearing loss is associated with poorer physical performance:
- Cardiovascular issues that contribute to both poor physical performance and hearing loss, though they did note they attempted to control for this in the study.
- Hearing loss negatively affects balance, which makes activities like walking 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.
Take Care of Your Hearing to Stay Active
The benefits of physical exercise are numerous. It lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, improves your mental health, and allows you to live a happy, active lifestyle. Many of these same benefits are true of hearing aids. We want to make sure that you can stay moving and enjoy yoga classes with friends or walks at Old Settlers Park. Prioritizing your hearing health can help you do that.
If you suspect you have hearing loss, schedule an appointment with an audiologist. They can perform hearing tests to gauge what your level of hearing loss is and what the best treatment would be. Often, if hearing loss is detected they will recommend hearing aids.
The right hearing aids can lead to improved physical health, reduce balance issues and keep you connected to those around you, preventing isolation.
If you have more questions about hearing loss or wish to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Tejas Hearing Aid Center today.