You likely already recognize that smoking isn’t good for you and neither are things like living a sedentary lifestyle. But did you know there is fascinating research revealing a connection between neglected hearing loss and early death?
Individual life expectancy varies widely, of course. This variance can be linked to things like access to healthy foods, where you live, healthcare accessibility, kind of work, and even gender. But people who deal with untreated hearing loss seem to die earlier even when you take these differences into consideration.
Research Connecting Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Norwegian researchers looked at the health data from more than 50,000 individuals over a two-year period. The cases of death for all the individuals were cross-referenced with the data. They could connect a greater risk of premature death to hearing loss regardless of the cause of death.
The chance of cardiovascular death is increased for those with hearing loss especially if they live alone and there is a 21% higher morbidity for people who suffer from even mild hearing loss, according to other research.
Clarifying The Link
When scientists find a connection, they never presume that one is necessarily producing the other. Identifying what precisely the link is will normally be the first thing they will attempt to do. What’s the common connection?
The Norwegian study further showed that men and women who were divorced and women who did not have kids were also at greater risk. This indicates that social life has an impact on longevity.
This assumption is supported by earlier research. One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology examined the data from over half a million participants. It reported that the risk of early death was substantially raised by social isolation.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Connecting socially with others has many life-extending benefits much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:
- Motivation… Having people around can motivate a person to get up, try new things and look forward to their day.
- Improved diet and health… Getting to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more readily available for people who are socially active.
- Physical stimulation… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to get physical exercise.
- Support… Someone with a healthy social group is more likely to ask for assistance if they need it (instead of attempting to do something dangerous on their own).
- Mental stimulation… You’re sharing, joking and conversing with others.
- Safety… When there are more people around, there’s a greater chance you’ll receive medical attention right away if needed.
What is it about untreated hearing loss that takes all of this away?
How Hearing Loss Can Leads to Social Isolation And Decreased Longevity
You most likely have family who will always be there for you. It’s hard to envision how hearing loss may change that.
Have you ever been in a room full of strangers enjoying each other’s company, but ignoring you? You likely felt very lonely. This is what neglected hearing loss can begin to feel like. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. The truth is, as the hearing loss progresses, it gets more difficult to share a casual conversation with you.
You often miss parts of the conversation and that makes you feel out of the loop. This can quickly make you withdraw physically and emotionally, even at family events. The enjoyment of going to a club or restaurant with friends begins to fade away. You might find that you merely avoid these kinds of interactions. Additionally, many people experiencing worsening hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
These make social contact even more difficult.
However, in their research, the Norwegian researchers offer a positive side. After analyzing their research, they came to a significant conclusion. Buying hearing aids can eliminate the connection between early death and hearing loss.
Wearing hearing aids helps you stay active, social, and healthier for a longer period.
Similar studies support these facts. One such study was conducted by the American Academy of Audiology. They found that when those with hearing loss wear hearing aids regularly, they have:
- Enhanced social life outside the home
- Greater independence
- Stronger relationships with family
Untreated Hearing Loss Connected to Early Death
Premature death and hearing loss have a complex connection. But an entire picture emerges when all of the data is considered. The effect of hearing loss on relationships, health, and finances is unveiled. So the early death connection isn’t hard to comprehend.
It’s also obvious that having your hearing loss treated can reverse the effects of hearing loss on every aspect of life. You will live a longer, socially active and healthier life.