Most people understand that leading a sedentary lifestyle and smoking isn’t good for them. But did you realize there is intriguing research indicating a connection between neglected hearing loss and premature death?
Of course, life expectancy varies widely. Access to healthcare, where you live, gender, type of work, and access to healthy food can all be factors in this variance. But people who deal with untreated hearing loss seem to die earlier even when you take these differences into account.
Studies Linking Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Norwegian researchers looked at the health data from more than 50,000 individuals over a two-year period. The cases of death for all the people were cross-referenced with the data. Whatever the cause, early death could be connected to neglected hearing loss.
Other research reveals that even moderate hearing loss is associated with a 21% greater morbidity rate and that there’s an increased risk of cardiovascular death for people with hearing loss, particularly if they live alone.
Clarifying The Link
Any time scientists find a link, they never presume that one is necessarily producing the other. Rather, they try to determine why the connection exists. How are the two really linked?
The Norwegian study also showed that men and women who were divorced and women with no kids were also at greater risk. This indicates that social life has an effect on longevity.
Previous research supports this presumption. One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology analyzed the data for over half a million participants. It discovered that social solitude increases the risk of early death substantially.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Connecting socially with others has many life-extending benefits much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:
- Mental stimulation… You’re engaging with people in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
- Physical stimulation… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to get physical exercise.
- Support… A person who doesn’t have a robust social network is more likely to try to do something hazardous instead of asking for help.
- Improved diet and health… Socially connected people often have greater access to healthy food and can make it to doctor’s appointments.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, trying new things, and looking forward to their day can be greatly motivated by having others around.
- Safety… If you require medical help, you will be more likely to get it right away if there are more people around.
Why does neglected hearing loss stop social participation?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Consequence of Untreated Hearing Loss
You probably have a very close relationship with your loved ones. It’s hard to imagine how hearing loss might change that.
Have you ever been with a group of people you don’t know, who were ignoring you while chatting with each other? You likely felt very alone. You can start to feel like this with neglected hearing loss. It’s not that people are ignoring you. The truth is, as the hearing loss progresses, it becomes more difficult to have a casual conversation with you.
You frequently miss parts of the conversation and that makes you feel out of the loop. Emotional and physical withdrawal, even at family gatherings, can be the result. Going out with friends to a restaurant and attending a social club, event or hobby loses its appeal. You may find that you merely avoid these kinds of interactions. Here are some other concerns that people who have progressing hearing loss cope with.:
- Mental exhaustion
Social interactions become even more challenging because of these.
The Norwegian researchers offer a positive side in their research, however. They reached a very important conclusion after analyzing their research. Buying hearing aids can eliminate the connection between early death and hearing loss.
Using hearing aids helps you stay active, social, and healthier for a longer period.
Similar studies support these facts. The American Academy of Audiology carried out one such study. That study revealed that using hearing aids consistently had the following benefits:
- Better relationships with family
- Enhanced social life outside the home
- More independence
Premature Death Linked to Untreated Hearing Loss
The link between hearing loss and premature death is a complicated 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 identify why the early demise link exists.
It’s also obvious that having your hearing loss treated can counter the impact of hearing loss on each aspect of life. You can continue to live an active, social and healthy life well into those older years.