Most people understand that living a sedentary lifestyle and smoking isn’t good for them. But what most people probably don’t realize is that there is some convincing research that demonstrates a link between premature death and neglected hearing loss.
Personal life expectancy varies widely, of course. Access to healthcare, where you live, type of work, gender, and access to healthy food can all be factors in this variance. But even accounting for these differences, individuals with neglected hearing loss appear to die earlier.
Studies Linking Early Death to Hearing Loss
Norwegian scientists evaluated the health data from over 50,000 individuals over a two-year period. They cross-referenced that data with the causes of death for the examined people. Whatever the cause, premature death could be connected to untreated hearing loss.
The risk of cardiovascular death is greater for individuals with hearing loss particularly if they live by themselves and there is a 21% higher morbidity for individuals with even moderate hearing loss, according to other research.
Clarifying The Connection
For researchers, just because they find a link doesn’t mean that a causality is firmly demonstrated. Instead, they try to determine why the connection exists. What’s the common thread?
The Norwegian study also showed that men and women who were divorced and women who did not have children were also at increased risk. This suggests that social life has an effect on longevity.
This presumption is backed by previous research. 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 Does Social Stability Contribute to Longevity?
Connecting socially with other people has many life-extending benefits much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:
- Support… A person who doesn’t have a robust social network is more likely to try to do something risky instead of asking for help.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, doing new things, and looking forward to their day can be greatly motivated by having others around.
- Safety… When there are more people around, there’s a higher risk you’ll receive medical attention immediately if you need it.
- Improved diet and health… Making it to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more immediately available for people who are active socially.
- Physical stimulation… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to engage in physical exercise.
- Mental stimulation… You’re sharing, joking and conversing with people.
What is it about neglected hearing loss that takes all of this away?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Consequence of Untreated Hearing Loss
You probably 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 people you don’t know enjoying the company of each other, but ignoring you? It was probably a lonely feeling. 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 becomes harder to have a casual conversation with you.
From your perspective, you frequently feel out of the loop because you lose parts of the conversation. This can very easily cause you to withdraw emotionally and physically, even at family events. Going out with friends to a restaurant and participating in a social club, event or hobby loses its appeal. Simply avoiding these kinds of scenarios becomes common. Here are a few other concerns that people who have progressing hearing loss cope with.:
- Mental exhaustion
Social interactions become even more challenging because of these.
However, in their research, the Norwegian scientists offer a positive side. After analyzing their research, they came to a significant conclusion. Investing in hearing aids can eliminate the connection between early death and hearing loss.
Wearing hearing aids helps you remain active, social, and healthier for a longer period.
Comparable studies back these facts. The American Academy of Audiology carried out one such study. That study revealed that using hearing aids regularly had the following benefits:
- Improved social life outside the home
- More independence
- Stronger relationships with family
Early Death Linked to Neglected Hearing Loss
The link between hearing loss and early death is a complex one. But an overall picture emerges when all of the data is considered. The effect of hearing loss on relationships, health, and finances is revealed. So it’s easy to recognize why the premature demise connection exists.
These studies also make it clear that treating hearing loss can counter its negative effects. You can continue to live an active, social and healthy life well into those advanced years.