Most people recognize that leading a sedentary lifestyle and smoking is bad for them. But did you realize there is fascinating research indicating a link between untreated hearing loss and early 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, type of work, and even gender. But even taking these differences into consideration, individuals with neglected hearing loss appear to die earlier.
Studies Linking Early Death to Hearing Loss
Norwegian researchers evaluated the health data from over 50,000 people over a two-year period. The cases of death for all the people were cross-referenced with the data. Whatever the cause, premature death could be connected to neglected hearing loss.
Other research reveals that even moderate hearing loss is linked to a 21% higher morbidity rate and that there’s an increased danger of cardiovascular death for individuals who have hearing loss, particularly if they live alone.
Clarifying The Connection
For researchers, just because they uncover a link doesn’t mean that a causality is firmly established. Instead, they try to identify why the connection occurs. How are the two really linked?
The Norwegian study also showed that women and men who were divorced and women who did not have kids were also at increased risk. This indicates that social life has an impact on longevity.
Earlier studies support this presumption. Data from over half a million participants was analyzed in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It discovered that social isolation raises the danger of early death considerably.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Having relationships socially with others has many life-extending benefits much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:
- Support… Someone with a robust social group is more likely to ask for help if they need it (instead of trying to do something risky on their own).
- Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to go out and do things if you have people around.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, trying new things, and looking forward to their day can be powerfully motivated by having people around.
- Safety… When there are more people around, there’s a greater chance you’ll get medical attention immediately if needed.
- Improved diet and health… Making it to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more readily available for individuals who are socially active.
- Mental stimulation… You’re sharing, joking and conversing with others.
Why does untreated hearing loss decrease social participation?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Consequence of Untreated Hearing Loss
You most likely have a very close relationship with your loved ones. How could that be fixed by hearing loss?
Have you ever been in a room full of strangers enjoying the company of each other, but ignoring you? It was most likely a lonely feeling. This is what neglected hearing loss can start to feel like. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. Actually, as the hearing loss develops, it becomes harder to have a casual conversation with you.
From your perspective, you often feel out of the loop because you miss parts of the conversation. This can quickly make you withdraw physically and emotionally, even at family gatherings. Going out to a restaurant with friends and participating in a social club, event or hobby loses its enjoyment. You might find that you merely avoid these kinds of interactions. Additionally, many people suffering from advancing hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
These make social interactions even more challenging.
However, in their research, the Norwegian scientists offer a positive side. After examining their research, they came to a significant conclusion. Buying hearing aids can eliminate the link between premature death and hearing loss.
Wearing hearing aids helps you stay active, social, and healthier for a longer time.
Similar studies support these facts. The American Academy of Audiology carried out one such study. They revealed that when those with hearing loss wear hearing aids consistently, they have:
- Better relationships with family
- Improved social life outside the home
- More independence
Early Death Linked to Untreated Hearing Loss
Premature death and hearing loss have a complex connection. But an overall picture emerges when all of the data is considered. It demonstrates how hearing loss affects health, finances, relationships, and more. So it’s easy to recognize why the premature demise connection exists.
These studies also make it obvious that treating hearing loss can reverse its adverse effects. You can keep living an active, social and healthy life well into those older years.