While you probably know that maintaining excellent physical fitness during your senior years is important to keeping a good level of health, reducing the chance of anything from stroke and diabetes to cancer and other problems, you may not be aware that good hearing health can boost your youth and vitality. Make sure you don’t fall victim to hearing loss and you can enjoy a healthier social life, cutting your chance of falls and boosting your confidence. Check out these ways in which good hearing can help you maintain your youth.
Better social and sex life. Those who have no hearing loss or those who wear a hearing aid have been known to experience an improved social life and sex life, plus they experience better mental health and a sense of independence from living on their own.
Increased sense of confidence. If you have a hearing impairment, you may suffer from lack of self confidence or self-esteem because it’s tough to interact easily with others in social situations. This may cause you to withdraw from parties, meetings and get-togethers because you fear not being able to hear others well.
Better performance on the job. If your hearing is subpar, you naturally can’t hear important instructions or safety precautions, or participate readily in colleague discussions or meetings. This can affect your job performance or edge you out of your profession.
Higher level of alertness. When your hearing is excellent, so too is your immediate reactions to warnings such as fire alarms, sirens and even car horns. By hearing and responding quickly to these sounds when they happen, you can ward off danger that much more quickly.
Less likely to fall and get hurt. This one’s easy: the better you can hear, the better chance you have of avoiding a devastating fall. It’s true that those with a 25-decibel hearing loss have three times more of a chance of falling than their counterparts with no hearing loss. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, this is due to the fact that people who can’t hear well don’t have a stable awareness of their surrounding, and as a result can trip and fall easier.
Hear better in school. If you’re a senior who’s headed back school to get a degree, having a sharp sense of hearing allows you to understand the teacher’s instructions more clearly and thus have an overall easier classroom experience.
Get better blood flow and oxygen to the ear canal. When you exercise, such as walk briskly on the treadmill, you experience increased blood flow to the ears, which is known to protect the ear canal. This can guard against hearing loss.
Keep dementia at bay. Hearing loss and dementia have been found to be related. The National Institute on Aging found that as we age, our brains shrink (nothing new there!) especially in those who have hearing loss. With that shrinkage of the brain comes an increased risk of having dementia.
Interact better with others. When you can’t hear well, it’s difficult to communicate with anyone from the store clerk to your spouse. Hearing loss can alienate you from getting the information you need to lead a successful life. Feeling confident that you can easily talk with others leads to a more outgoing personality to stay young and engaged.
Head to the hospital less often. Hearing impairments can increase your risk of going to the hospitals due to falls and other unfortunate events, which consequently leads to more frequent periods of inactivity. Inactivity often brings on depression and decreased levels of physical fitness.