A person's hearing health can negatively or positively affect his or her overall health. Statistics show that a vast number of people have hearing loss: Around 360 million people (or five percent of the world's population), including one in three adults over the age of 60 and one in five teenagers, are living with some degree of hearing loss. Eighty percent of those people do nothing about it. Because of these substantial numbers, there could eventually be an even larger amount of related health issues.
There are significant associations between various health disorders and hearing loss including: cognitive decline, depression, hypertension, heart health, diabetes and osteoporosis. Also, factors such as smoking, ototoxic medications and obesity can affect hearing. So maintaining one's hearing health can be vitally important to preventing damage to the ears and other health problems. Next month we will discuss the connection between hearing loss and depression. Click here for prevention information.