As we age, our senses continue to change and affect how we function in our surroundings over time. This can often lead to more doctor visits to tackle concerns related to hearing, vision and other functions we might take for granted in earlier years.
More specifically, hearing loss and vision loss are two completely different conditions that require very individualized treatment plans. However, there is research to show that both can lead to a decline in one another, in addition to affecting the overall quality of life when paired.
Hearing loss and vision can both have a heavy impact on our social skills as we age. Many of us use our sense of sight and sound to help us discern and understand our surroundings and gather clues on important social cues. If one sense falls behind, the other often helps compensate—but what about those who suffer from hearing and vision loss?
A study published in the journal Epidemiology that observed more than 2,300 seniors in 2006 concludes that older persons with visual impairment were more likely to have hearing loss, which suggests that the two sensory impairments might share common risk factors.
Another study from 2014 specifically looked at more than 27,000 people over the age of 50 and 900 who were older than 75 to see how hearing loss and vision loss impacted the lifestyles of each. Though social skills were hindered in each case, those who experienced hearing and vision loss were much more likely to stay away from social activities that they might have previously enjoyed.
Similarities and Differences
Another key factor in treating both hearing and vision loss is how each sense can help compensate for the other. For example, those who experience hearing loss often compensate through reading lips in order to better understand what people are saying to them.
But make no mistake—losing your vision and developing hearing loss can be two different types of experiences altogether. That’s why it’s important to let the experts, such as a trained audiologist, help with a specific treatment plan for your individual needs.
For more information about hearing loss and its impacts or to schedule an appointment, call the experts at Victory Hearing & Balance Center today.