Most people understand that living a sedentary lifestyle and smoking isn’t good for them. But did you know there is intriguing research indicating a link between untreated hearing loss and early death?
Personal life expectancy varies widely, of course. Access to healthcare, where you live, type of work, gender, and access to healthy food can all be factors in this variance. But people who cope with untreated hearing loss appear to die earlier even when you take these differences into consideration.
Research Connecting Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, stats from more than 50,000 individuals was evaluated by Norwegian scientists. The cases of death for all the people were cross-referenced with the data. They could connect an increased risk of early death to hearing loss irrespective of the cause of death.
The chance of cardiovascular death is increased for people who have hearing loss especially if they live by themselves and there is a 21% higher morbidity for people with even moderate hearing loss, according to other research.
Clarifying The Connection
For scientists, just because they discover a connection doesn’t mean that a causality is solidly demonstrated. Instead, they try to determine why the connection exists. How are the two really linked?
In this same study it was reported that there was an increased risk in women with no kids and women and men who are divorced. This seemingly unrelated factor suggests that the decrease in life expectancy may be connected to social ties.
This presumption is backed by earlier research. Data from more than half a million people was analyzed in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It discovered that social seclusion raises the danger of early death significantly.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Not unlike a pack of wolves or a herd of elephants in nature, social connections offer numerous life-extending advantages to humans:
- Improved diet and health… Making it to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more readily available for people who are socially active.
- Support… A person who doesn’t have a strong social network is more likely to attempt to do something risky instead of asking for help.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, trying new things, and looking forward to their day can be greatly motivated by having others around.
- Safety… If you need medical attention, you will be more likely to get it right away if there are more people around.
- Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to go out and do things if you have people around.
- Mental stimulation… You’re sharing, joking and conversing with others.
Why does neglected hearing loss decrease social participation?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Consequence of Neglected Hearing Loss
You probably have a very close relationship with your loved ones. It’s difficult to imagine how hearing loss may change that.
Have you ever been in a room full of strangers enjoying each other’s company, but paying no attention to you? It was most likely a lonely feeling. You can start to feel like this with neglected hearing loss. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. It seems like you’re being ignored because people are beginning to have a hard time having a conversation with you.
On your side of things, you frequently feel out of the loop because you miss parts of the conversation. Emotional and physical withdrawal, even at family events, can be the result. Going out with friends to a restaurant and attending a social club, event or hobby loses its enjoyment. You may find that you merely avoid these kinds of interactions. Here are some other concerns that individuals who have progressing hearing loss cope with.:
- Mental exhaustion
Social connections become even more stressful because of these.
However, in their research, the Norwegian researchers offer a positive side. After examining their research, they came to an important conclusion. The connection between premature death and hearing loss can be disrupted by wearing hearing aids.
Using hearing aids helps you stay active, social, and healthier for a longer period.
Comparable studies support these facts. The American Academy of Audiology performed one such study. That study revealed that using hearing aids regularly had the following benefits:
- Improved social life outside the home
- Greater independence
- Stronger relationships with family
Premature Death Linked to Untreated Hearing Loss
The link between hearing loss and early death is a complicated one. But when we integrate the wealth of data, a whole picture appears. It reveals how hearing loss affects health, finances, relationships, and more. So it’s easy to recognize why the early demise connection exists.
It’s also evident that having your hearing loss treated can reverse the impact of hearing loss on every aspect of life. You will live a longer, healthier and socially active life.