Unlike vision problems, hearing loss in old age is not a normal occurrence


Age-related farsightedness is called “physiological” for a reason: it is developed almost in all aged people, except for those having nearsightedness. Hearing loss in old age is also considered as a physiological process; however, this is not true.
A discovery made by the US scientists allows for the hearing deterioration occurring in many (however, not in all) aged people to be studied from a different perspective. This condition may represent an unidentified symptom of various dangerous body disorders since age-related hearing deterioration is linked to an increased risk of death.
Scientists of the Clinic of vision and hearing disorders, affiliated to the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, analyzed medical records of almost 1700 Americans who performed a hearing examination at this clinic.  All study participants were 70 and older.
Normal hearing abilities were confirmed for 527 patients, a moderate hearing deterioration was found in 589 patients, while a major hearing deterioration was identified in 550 participants.
The group of these participants was observed for 6 years. The results showed that death risks were significantly higher in participants with major hearing deterioration as compared to those having a normal hearing ability. It is worth noting that the more significant hearing deterioration was, the higher were death risks.
Baltimore scientists, however, could not determine if therapy of actionable hearing disorders and hearing rehabilitation with the use of special devices can decrease death risks. This will be the subject of their next study.
Earlier, scientists from the University of Chicago determined that age-related sense of smell deterioration is also linked to a higher risk of death occurring during the next 5 years.