You probably already know that smoking isn’t good for you and neither are things like leading a sedentary lifestyle. But what most people probably don’t realize is that there is some compelling research that indicates a connection 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 individuals who cope with untreated hearing loss seem to die earlier even when you take these differences into consideration.
Research Linking Early Death to Hearing Loss
Norwegian scientists looked at the health data from over 50,000 people over a two-year period. They cross-referenced that data with the causes of death for the studied people. They could link an increased risk of premature death to hearing loss irrespective of the cause of death.
The risk of cardiovascular death is increased for individuals who have hearing loss particularly if they live by themselves and there is a 21% higher morbidity for people who suffer from even moderate hearing loss, according to other research.
Clarifying The Connection
For researchers, just because they uncover a connection doesn’t mean that a causality is firmly established. Rather, they try to identify why the connection occurs. What’s the common connection?
In this same research it was revealed that there was an increased risk in women with no children and women and men who are divorced. This seemingly unrelated element indicates that the decrease in life expectancy might be connected to social ties.
This presumption is supported by previous research. One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology examined the data from more than half a million participants. It revealed that the risk of early death was significantly increased by social separation.
How Does Social Stability Increase Longevity?
Connecting socially with others has numerous life-extending advantages much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:
- Safety… When there are more people around, there’s a greater chance you’ll get medical attention right away if needed.
- Support… A person who doesn’t have a strong social network is more likely to try to do something hazardous instead of seeking help.
- Mental stimulation… You’re participating with others in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, doing new things, and looking forward to their day can be powerfully motivated by having people around.
- Improved diet and health… Socially connected people often have greater access to healthy food and can get to doctor’s appointments.
- Physical stimulation… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to get physical exercise.
Why does untreated hearing loss decrease social participation?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Consequence of Neglected Hearing Loss
You probably have family who will always be there for you. How could that be fixed by hearing loss?
Have you ever been with a group of people you don’t know, who were ignoring you while chatting with each other? It was most likely a lonely feeling. This is what neglected hearing loss can begin to feel like. It’s not that people are ignoring you. It seems like you’re being ignored because people are beginning to have a tough time having a conversation with you.
You often miss parts of the conversation and that makes you feel out of the loop. This can very easily cause you to withdraw emotionally and physically, even at family gatherings. The appeal of going to a restaurant or club with friends starts to fade away. You might find that you merely avoid these kinds of interactions. Here are some other challenges that individuals who have progressing hearing loss cope with.:
- Mental exhaustion
Social interactions become even more stressful because of these.
However, in their research, the Norwegian researchers offer a positive side. After examining their research, they came to an important conclusion. Buying hearing aids can eliminate the connection between early death and hearing loss.
You will stay healthier, more active and social if you wear hearing aids and that can give you longevity.
Comparable studies support these facts. The American Academy of Audiology performed one such study. That study revealed that wearing hearing aids consistently had the following benefits:
- More independence
- Improved social life outside the home
- Better relationships with family
Neglected Hearing Loss Linked to Early Death
Early death and hearing loss have a complicated connection. But when we integrate the wealth of data, a whole picture appears. The impact of hearing loss on relationships, health, and finances is unveiled. So it’s easy to identify why the premature demise connection exists.
These studies also make it clear that treating hearing loss can counter its adverse effects. You will live a longer, healthier and socially active life.