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Study: Untreated hearing loss in elderly contributes to reduced quality of life

Elderly people with hearing loss are more likely to stay home and opt out of activities and hobbies, which can lead to a reduced quality of life, according to a new study.

The study, which took place in Finland, studied the effects of hearing loss on 849 adults aged 75 to 90. During the two year period, those with hearing loss tended to not participate in hobbies and activities that they otherwise would, and were twice as likely as others to limit their life space only to nearby areas.

Earlier studies suggested a wide living environment and good hearing are associated with older people regarding their quality of life as good.

The researchers warned, however, people may not view their hearing loss as a main factor in their life quality.

“For example, a person with many everyday social contacts and communication with others may feel that even a minor hearing loss may affect their everyday functioning,” says Doctoral Student Hannele Polku, who ran the study. “On the other hand, a person more inclined to enjoy domestic tasks carried out on one’s own doesn’t experience the same number of problems due to a change of a similar degree in hearing.”

Other studies have linked the use of hearing aids in elderly to a higher quality of life. 

“The use of professional hearing solutions helps hard of hearing people live better lives, participate in social activities, keep a job and in general gives them  a higher quality of life,” says Secretary General Kim Ruberg, Hear-it AISBL. “All this helps the hard of hearing to better health, better social functions and therefore better mental health.”

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Jill von Bueren is the editor-in-chief of HearingLikeMe.com.Originally from the U.S., she now resides in Zurich, Switzerland. She has a background in journalism and is currently working on her second novel.
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Jill von Bueren is the editor-in-chief of HearingLikeMe.com.Originally from the U.S., she now resides in Zurich, Switzerland. She has a background in journalism and is currently working on her second novel.
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