You probably already recognize that smoking is bad for you and so are things like leading a sedentary lifestyle. But did you realize there is fascinating research indicating a connection between neglected hearing loss and premature death?
Of course, life expectancy varies widely. This variance can be linked to things like access to healthy foods, where you live, healthcare accessibility, type of work, and even gender. But people who suffer from untreated hearing loss seem to die earlier even when you take these differences into account.
Studies Connecting Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Norwegian researchers looked at the health data from over 50,000 people over a two-year period. The cases of death for all the individuals were cross-referenced with the data. Whatever the cause, early death could be connected to neglected hearing loss.
Other studies show that even mild hearing loss is related to a 21% greater morbidity rate and that there’s an increased risk of cardiovascular death for people with hearing loss, particularly if they live alone.
Clarifying The Link
When scientists find a link, they never assume that one is necessarily producing the other. Determining what precisely the connection is will usually be the first thing they will attempt to do. What’s the common thread?
The Norwegian study further showed that women and men who were divorced and women who did not have kids were also at increased risk. This seemingly unrelated element suggests that the decrease in life expectancy may be linked to social ties.
This presumption is supported by earlier studies. One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology analyzed the data from over half a million participants. It revealed that the chance of early death was considerably raised by social isolation.
How Does Social Stability Contribute to Longevity?
Connecting socially with other people has numerous life-extending benefits much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:
- Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to go out and do things if you have people around.
- Support… A person who doesn’t have a strong social network is more likely to attempt to do something hazardous instead of asking for help.
- Safety… If you need medical attention, you will be more likely to get it right away if there are more people around.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, trying new things, and looking forward to their day can be powerfully motivated by having others around.
- Mental stimulation… You’re engaging with people in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
- Improved diet and health… Getting to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more readily available for people who are socially active.
Why does neglected hearing loss stop 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 envision how hearing loss might change that.
Have you ever been with a group of strangers, who were ignoring you while chatting with each other? You likely felt very alone. This is what untreated hearing loss can begin to feel like. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. It seems as if you’re being ignored because people are beginning to have a tough time having a conversation with you.
You often miss parts of the conversation and that makes you feel out of the loop. This can very easily cause you to withdraw physically and emotionally, even at family gatherings. The appeal of going to a club or restaurant with friends starts to fade away. Simply avoiding these kinds of scenarios becomes common. Additionally, many people suffering from worsening hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
These make social contact even more difficult.
However, in their research, the Norwegian scientists offer a positive side. After reviewing their research, they came to an important conclusion. Investing in hearing aids can eliminate the connection between early death and hearing loss.
You will stay healthier, more active and social if you use hearing aids and that can give you longevity.
This fact can be supported by similar studies. The American Academy of Audiology performed one such study. They revealed that when people with hearing loss wear hearing aids regularly, they have:
- Stronger relationships with family
- More independence
- Improved social life outside the home
Premature Death Linked to Neglected Hearing Loss
Early death and hearing loss have a complicated connection. But an entire picture emerges when all of the data is considered. It reveals how hearing loss impacts finances, health, relationships, and more. So it’s easy to see why the premature demise connection exists.
It’s also obvious that getting 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.