By now, you should know that an untreated hearing loss can have a negative effect on many aspects of one’s life… relationships, social life, and brain health to name a few. So, it should come as no surprise to learn that The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published an analysis that discovered hearing loss being associated with a worse physical activity profile vs those without a hearing loss.
The findings of the analysis showed that, among adults between the ages of 60-69, hearing loss was independently associated with poorer physical activity, including less moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, less light-intensity physical activity, and more sedentary behaviors. The study also showed that those with hearing loss were more likely to do physical activity in small/fragmented amounts at a time.
Researchers suggest that hearing loss can cause less physical activity for a few reasons:
• Social isolation and depression are known side effects of an untreated hearing loss. These two afflictions have been proven to lower one’s overall activity level
• Since the risk of falling is increased with an untreated hearing loss, one may fragment their activity level to reduce this risk
• The cognitive load/mental effort being used by those with hearing loss to focus in on what is going on around them can lead to less focus on being active for longer amounts of time.
So, after reading through the analysis, it would appear that treating a hearing loss would result in an increase of one’s physical activity. Those who wear hearing aids to treat their hearing loss reduce the risk of social isolation and depression caused by an untreated hearing loss because they are more engaged with their friends and family. They also reduce their risk of falling by having more spatial awareness and reducing their cognitive load.
Physical activity has numerous health benefits, so, help out your health by keeping your hearing healthy. Call Lemme Audiology Associates at (814) 941-7770 to discover what hearing aid options are available to you or to make sure your current hearing aid prescription is up to date.