You likely already know that smoking isn’t good for you and neither are things like leading a sedentary lifestyle. But did you realize there’s fascinating research indicating a connection between untreated hearing loss and premature death?
Personal life expectancy varies widely, of course. This variance can be related to things like where you live, access to healthy foods, healthcare accessibility, kind of work, and even gender. But individuals who deal with untreated hearing loss seem to die earlier even when you take these differences into consideration.
Studies Linking Early Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, data from more than 50,000 individuals was examined by Norwegian scientists. The cases of death for all the people were cross-referenced with the data. Whatever the cause, premature death could be linked to untreated hearing loss.
The chance of cardiovascular death is increased for individuals with hearing loss especially if they live alone and there is a 21% higher morbidity for people who suffer from even moderate hearing loss, according to other research.
Clarifying The Link
For scientists, just because they uncover a connection doesn’t mean that a causality is firmly demonstrated. Instead, they try to identify why the connection occurs. What’s the common thread?
In this same study it was revealed that there was an increased risk in women with no kids and men and women who are divorced. This seemingly unrelated element suggests that the decrease in life expectancy may be related to social ties.
This assumption is backed by previous research. Data from over half a million individuals was assessed in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It found that social seclusion increases the risk of early death considerably.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Having relationships socially with other people has many life-extending benefits much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:
- Physical stimulation… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to engage in physical exercise.
- Support… A person who doesn’t have a robust social network is more likely to attempt to do something risky instead of asking for help.
- Mental stimulation… You’re sharing, joking and conversing with people.
- Safety… When there are more people around, there’s a greater chance you’ll receive medical attention immediately if needed.
- Motivation… Having people around can encourage a person to get up, try new things and look forward to their day.
- Improved diet and health… Making it to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more readily available for people who are active socially.
Why does neglected hearing loss decrease social participation?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Result of Neglected Hearing Loss
You most likely have family who will always be there for you. How could that be changed by hearing loss?
Have you ever been in a room full of people you don’t know enjoying each other’s company, but paying no attention to you? You likely felt very alone. You can begin to feel like this with neglected hearing loss. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. It seems as if you’re being ignored because people are starting to have a hard time having a conversation with you.
You frequently lose parts of the conversation and that makes you feel out of the loop. Physical and emotional withdrawal, even at family events, can be the result. The enjoyment of going to a club or restaurant with friends begins to fade away. Simply avoiding these types of scenarios becomes common. Additionally, many individuals experiencing advancing hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
Social connections become even more challenging because of these.
The Norwegian scientists offer a positive side in their research, however. They reached a very important conclusion after examining their research. Investing in hearing aids can eliminate the connection between premature death and hearing loss.
You will stay healthier, more active and social if you use hearing aids and that can give you longevity.
Similar studies back these facts. One such study was performed by the American Academy of Audiology. They found that when people with hearing loss wear hearing aids regularly, they have:
- Greater independence
- Enhanced social life outside the home
- Better relationships with family
Premature Death Linked to Neglected Hearing Loss
Premature death and hearing loss have a complex association. 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 unveiled. So the premature death connection isn’t hard to comprehend.
It’s also obvious that getting your hearing loss treated can counter the impact of hearing loss on each aspect of life. You can keep living an active, social and healthy life well into those advanced years.