Two of the most common health conditions that affect people of all ages are hearing loss and vision impairment. But did you know these two can be connected? Discover how your ears and eyes work together and how a decline in one’s ability can affect the other.
Does hearing loss affect your sight?
If you lose your hearing, your vision becomes so much more important. When you can’t hear well, you rely on your sight to read lips or to use sign language. If you develop vision loss (the inability to see correctly) alongside hearing loss, communication can be greatly affected.
Do people have both hearing loss and vision loss?
Yes, there are many people who have difficulty not only with hearing, but with their sight as well. In fact, people aged 55 and over with combined vision and hearing loss make up the largest group of people who are considered both deaf and blind in the United States.
How are the two connected?
Sometimes, hearing and vision loss is the result of genetics, age, or head trauma. Research has shown that older individuals with visual impairment are more likely to have hearing loss, and the two conditions share a common risk factor or biologic aging marker.
Health ailments and genetic disorders can also cause a loss of hearing and vision in people. The most common condition that affects both hearing and sight is Usher syndrome.
What is Usher Syndrome?
Usher syndrome is a rare genetic disease that affects both hearing and vision. It causes deafness or hearing loss and an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa. Sometimes this condition can also cause balance problems.
For people who have had “normal” hearing and sight their entire lives, the impact of this dual loss can be profound, both mentally and emotionally. If you have noticed a decline in your hearing and vision, it’s important to visit your doctor immediately. Being proactive is the best way to prevent any conditions from worsening and can even help you preserve your hearing and sight.
Hearing Loss is Manageable
There is good news, sensorineural hearing loss is manageable. Even if you have a severe degree of hearing loss, a hearing specialist can help you by testing your hearing, fitting you with hearing aids, and providing follow-up care.
If you are struggling with a decline in your hearing and vision, schedule an appointment with a local provider today. A hearing specialist will be able to help you manage the hearing portion, so you can still enjoy your favorite sounds in life and communicate with your loved ones.