Most people recognize that leading a sedentary lifestyle and smoking is bad for them. But did you realize there’s fascinating research indicating a connection between untreated hearing loss and early death?
Of course, life expectancy varies widely. This variance can be related to things like access to healthy foods, where you live, healthcare accessibility, type of work, and even gender. But individuals who suffer from neglected hearing loss seem to die earlier even when you take these differences into consideration.
Research Connecting Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, data from more than 50,000 people was examined by Norwegian researchers. 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 moderate hearing loss is related to a 21% greater morbidity rate and that there’s an increased risk of cardiovascular death for those who have hearing loss, especially if they live by themselves.
Clarifying The Connection
For scientists, just because they uncover a connection doesn’t mean that a causality is firmly demonstrated. Determining what exactly the connection is will usually be the first thing they will attempt to do. How are the two really related?
The Norwegian study also showed that women and men who were divorced and women who did not have kids were also at higher risk. This indicates that social life has an impact on longevity.
Previous studies support this presumption. Data from more than half a million people was analyzed in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It reported that the risk of early death was considerably raised by social isolation.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Having relationships socially with others has numerous life-extending advantages much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:
- Improved diet and health… Socially connected people frequently have better access to healthy food and can get 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.
- Support… A person with a robust social network is more likely to ask for assistance if they require it (instead of attempting to do something risky on their own).
- Safety… If you need medical attention, you will be more likely to get it quickly if there are more people around.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, trying new things, and looking forward to their day can be strongly motivated by having others around.
What is it about untreated hearing loss that causes all of this?
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. It’s difficult to envision how hearing loss might change that.
Have you ever been in a room full of strangers enjoying each other’s company, but paying no attention to you? You likely felt very alone. You can start to feel like this with untreated hearing loss. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. It seems like you’re being ignored because people are beginning to have a hard time having a conversation with you.
From your perspective, you often feel out of the loop because you miss parts of the conversation. This can quickly cause you to withdraw emotionally and physically, even at family get-togethers. The enjoyment of going to a club or restaurant with friends begins to fade away. You may find that you simply avoid these types of interactions. Here are a few other challenges that individuals who have progressing hearing loss deal with.:
- Mental exhaustion
These make social connections even more challenging.
However, in their research, the Norwegian scientists offer a positive side. They reached a significant conclusion after examining their research. Investing in hearing aids can clear away the link 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.
This fact can be backed by similar research. One such study was carried out by the American Academy of Audiology. They found that when those with hearing loss use hearing aids consistently, they have:
- Improved social life outside the home
- Stronger relationships with family
- More independence
Early Death Linked to Untreated Hearing Loss
The connection between hearing loss and early death is a complicated one. But an entire picture emerges when all of the data is taken into account. The effect of hearing loss on relationships, health, and finances is unveiled. So it’s easy to see why the premature demise link exists.
These studies also make it clear that managing hearing loss can counter its detrimental effects. You will live a longer, socially active and healthier life.