Most people understand that leading a sedentary lifestyle and smoking is bad for them. But did you know there is fascinating research revealing a link between untreated hearing loss and early death?
Of course, life expectancy varies widely. Access to healthcare, where you live, type of work, gender, and access to healthy food can all be factors in this variance. But even taking these differences into consideration, people with neglected hearing loss seem to die earlier.
Studies Linking Early Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, stats from more than 50,000 people was evaluated by Norwegian researchers. The cases of death for all the people were cross-referenced with the data. They were able to connect an increased risk of premature death to hearing loss irrespective of the cause of death.
Other research reveals that even moderate hearing loss is linked to a 21% higher morbidity rate and that there’s an increased risk of cardiovascular death for those who have hearing loss, particularly if they live by themselves.
Clarifying The Connection
For researchers, just because they find a connection doesn’t mean that a causality is solidly established. Identifying what precisely the link is will normally be the first thing they will try to do. What’s the common thread?
The Norwegian study also showed that men and women who were divorced and women with no kids were also at higher risk. This seemingly unrelated element indicates that the decrease in life expectancy may be linked to social ties.
Earlier research supports this presumption. Data from more than half a million participants was analyzed in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It reported that the chance of early death was considerably raised by social isolation.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Much like a pack of wolves or a herd of elephants in the wild, social connections offer numerous life-extending advantages to humans:
- Safety… When there are more people around, there’s a greater chance you’ll get medical attention immediately if needed.
- Motivation… Having people around can motivate a person to get up, try new things and look forward to their day.
- Support… A person with a strong social group is more likely to ask for help if they need it (instead of attempting to do something dangerous on their own).
- Physical stimulation… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to get physical exercise.
- Mental stimulation… You’re participating with others in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
- 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.
What is it about untreated hearing loss that takes all of this away?
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 with a group of strangers, who were ignoring you while talking to each other? You likely felt very lonely. This is what untreated hearing loss can begin to feel like. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. It seems like you’re being ignored because people are starting to have a tough time having a conversation with you.
On your side of things, you often feel out of the loop because you lose parts of the conversation. Emotional and physical withdrawal, even at family events, can be the result. Going out to a restaurant with friends and participating in a social club, event or hobby loses its enjoyment. Simply avoiding these types of situations becomes common. Here are some other concerns that individuals who have progressing hearing loss deal with.:
- Mental exhaustion
Social interactions become even more difficult because of these.
However, in their research, the Norwegian scientists offer a positive side. They reached a very important conclusion after evaluating their research. Investing in hearing aids can eliminate the connection between early death and hearing loss.
You will remain healthier, more active and social if you wear hearing aids and that can give you longevity.
This fact can be backed by similar studies. One such study was carried out by the American Academy of Audiology. They revealed that when people with hearing loss wear hearing aids regularly, they have:
- Better relationships with family
- Enhanced social life outside the home
- More independence
Neglected Hearing Loss Connected to Early Death
Premature death and hearing loss have a complex association. But an entire picture appears when all of the data is taken into account. The impact of hearing loss on health, relationships, and finances is unveiled. So it’s easy to see why the premature demise link exists.
These studies also make it obvious that managing hearing loss can reverse its detrimental effects. You will live a longer, socially active and healthier life.