You probably already recognize that smoking isn’t good for you and neither are things like living a sedentary lifestyle. But did you realize there is fascinating research revealing a link between untreated hearing loss and early death?
Of course, life expectancy varies widely. Access to healthcare, where you live, type of work, gender, and access to healthy food can all be factors in this variance. But even taking these differences into consideration, people with neglected hearing loss seem to die earlier.
Research Connecting Early Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, data from over 50,000 people was examined by Norwegian scientists. The cases of death for all the individuals were cross-referenced with the data. Whatever the cause, early death could be linked to untreated hearing loss.
The risk of cardiovascular death is greater for those with hearing loss especially if they live by themselves and there is a 21% higher morbidity for people with even mild hearing loss, according to other studies.
Clarifying The Link
Any time scientists find a connection, they never assume that one is necessarily causing the other. Determining what precisely the link is will usually be the first thing they will attempt to do. What’s the common connection?
In this same study it was revealed that there was a greater risk in women with no kids and men and women who are divorced. This indicates that social life has an impact on longevity.
This presumption is backed by previous studies. Data from over half a million individuals was examined in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It reported that the chance of early death was significantly raised by social separation.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Not unlike a pack of wolves or a herd of elephants in nature, social connections offer several life-extending benefits to humans:
- Motivation… Having people around can motivate a person to get up, do new things and look forward to their day.
- Support… A person who doesn’t have a strong social network is more likely to attempt to do something hazardous instead of seeking help.
- Safety… If you require medical attention, you will be more likely to get it quickly if there are more people nearby.
- Improved diet and health… Socially connected people usually have greater access to healthy food and can make it to doctor’s appointments.
- Mental stimulation… You’re sharing, joking and conversing with others.
- Physical stimulation… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to get physical exercise.
Why does untreated hearing loss decrease social participation?
How Hearing Loss Can Leads to Social Separation And Decreased Longevity
You most likely have a very close relationship with your loved ones. It’s hard to imagine how hearing loss may change that.
Have you ever been with a group of people you don’t know, who were ignoring you while chatting with each other? It was probably a lonely feeling. This is what untreated hearing loss can begin to feel like. It’s not that people are ignoring you. The truth is, as the hearing loss develops, it becomes more difficult to share a casual conversation with you.
From your perspective, you often feel out of the loop because you lose parts of the conversation. This can quickly cause you to withdraw physically and emotionally, even at family events. The enjoyment of going to a club or restaurant with friends begins to fade away. You may find that you merely avoid these kinds of interactions. In addition, many people suffering from advancing hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
These make social connections even more challenging.
However, in their research, the Norwegian scientists offer a silver lining. After examining their research, they came to an important conclusion. Purchasing hearing aids can clear away the connection between premature death and hearing loss.
You will remain healthier, more active and social if you use hearing aids and that can give you longevity.
Comparable studies back these facts. The American Academy of Audiology conducted one such study. They found that when those with hearing loss wear hearing aids regularly, they have:
- Greater independence
- Enhanced social life outside the home
- Stronger relationships with family
Neglected Hearing Loss Connected to Premature Death
The link between hearing loss and early death is a complex one. But an entire picture appears when all of the data is taken into account. The effect of hearing loss on health, relationships, and finances is revealed. So the premature death connection isn’t difficult to comprehend.
It’s also clear that having your hearing loss treated can reverse the impact of hearing loss on every part of life. You will live a longer, socially active and healthier life.