man and woman embracing on bridge and looking out over water
HEARING LOSS

Maximize Your Hearing, Maximize Your Life: The Link Between Hearing Aids and Longevity

BY JOHN GAREAU - JANUARY 10, 2024

 

 

When someone finally decides to seek help with hearing loss, the impact on their most valued relationships often proves to be the tipping point. A husband whose wife chides him for ratcheting up the TV volume every night. A grandmother who has grown weary of being unable to hear her beloved grandchildren. These are very personal reasons. They’re also very common ones. There’s a growing body of research underscoring how untreated hearing loss is much more than an inconvenience in one’s daily life; it's a serious health concern linked to a variety of issues, including: 

  • Risks to Physical Health: a 70% to 80% increase in the risk of fall-related injury1

  • Cognitive impairment2: a 2- to 5-fold increase in the risk for dementia345

  • And now, in newly released research, untreated hearing loss has been further linked to increased mortality risk

The comprehensive study published in The Lancet Healthy Longevity journal delved into this issue. Researchers found that hearing loss is not just an annoying part of aging; it's a significant risk factor for a variety of negative health outcomes, including a shorter lifespan. But here's the good news: regular use of hearing aids may significantly reduce this risk.

Let's break it down. The study tracked data on 9,885 adult participants between 1999 and 2012. Of this group, 1,863 (18.8%) were found to have hearing loss, and among these individuals, the subset of regular hearing aid users had a 24% lower risk of mortality compared to those who never used hearing aids. Interestingly, the study showed that there was little difference in risk of death over the 13-year period between people who used hearing aids ‘occasionally’ (less than once per week) and those who never wore them, but the segment of ‘regular users’ (at least once a week, or daily) were at a significantly lower risk.

The implications of this research are notable. Regular user of hearing aids could be a simple yet effective way to improve longevity, especially for the millions of adults living with hearing loss in the US. 

If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, don't wait. Our team can help you assess whether Eargo’s self-fitting OTC hearing aids might be a good fit for you. Remember, when it comes to your health, every decision counts, and choosing to support your hearing could be one of the most impactful choices you make.

 


 

Jiam  NT, Li  C, Agrawal  Y.  Hearing loss and falls: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Laryngoscope. 2016;126(11):2587-2596. 2

2 Zheng Y, Fan S, Liao W, Fang W, Xiao S, Liu J.  Hearing impairment and risk of Alzheimer’s disease: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.  Neurol Sci. 2017;38(2):233-239.

3 Livingston G, Sommerlad A, Orgeta V,  et al.  Dementia prevention, intervention, and care.  Lancet. 2017;390(10113):2673-2734.

4 Thomson RS, Auduong  P, Miller  AT, Gurgel  RK.  Hearing loss as a risk factor for dementia: a systematic review.  Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2017;2(2):69-79.

5 Lin FR, Metter EJ, O'Brien RJ, Resnick SM, Zonderman AB, Ferrucci L. Hearing loss and incident dementia. Arch Neurol. 2011 Feb;68(2):214-20. doi: 10.1001/archneurol.2010.362. PMID: 21320988; PMCID: PMC3277836