You probably already know that smoking isn’t good for you and neither are things like living a sedentary lifestyle. But did you know there is fascinating research revealing a link between neglected hearing loss and early death?
Individual 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, people with neglected hearing loss appear to die earlier.
Research Linking Early Death to Hearing Loss
Norwegian researchers looked at 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, 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 danger of cardiovascular death for individuals with hearing loss, particularly if they live by themselves.
Clarifying The Connection
For researchers, just because they uncover 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 attempt to do. What’s the common connection?
In this same research it was reported that there was a greater risk in women with no kids and men and women who are divorced. This seemingly unrelated factor indicates that the decrease in life expectancy may be related to social ties.
Earlier studies support this presumption. Data from more than half a million participants was analyzed in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It found that social isolation increases the danger of early death considerably.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Much like a pack of wolves or a herd of elephants in the wild, social relationships offer a number of 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.
- Improved diet and health… Getting to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more readily available for individuals who are active socially.
- Mental stimulation… You’re participating with people in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
- Support… A person with a strong social network is more likely to ask for help if they require it (instead of attempting to do something risky on their own).
- Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to go out and do things if you have people around.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, doing new things, and looking forward to their day can be strongly motivated by having people around.
Why does neglected hearing loss stop social participation?
How Hearing Loss Can Leads to Social Separation And Decreased Longevity
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? You probably felt very lonely. You can start to feel like this with untreated hearing loss. It’s not that people are ignoring you. Actually, as the hearing loss progresses, it becomes more difficult to share a casual conversation with you.
On your side of things, you frequently feel out of the loop because you miss parts of the conversation. Physical and emotional withdrawal, even at family events, can be the outcome. Going out with friends to a restaurant and participating in a social club, event or hobby loses its appeal. Simply avoiding these types of situations becomes common. In addition, many people suffering from worsening hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
These make social connections even more challenging.
The Norwegian scientists offer a silver lining in their research, however. They reached a very important conclusion after evaluating their research. Purchasing 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.
Similar studies support these facts. One such study was conducted by the American Academy of Audiology. They found that when people with hearing loss wear hearing aids regularly, they have:
- Greater independence
- Stronger relationships with family
- Enhanced social life outside the home
Untreated Hearing Loss Connected to Premature Death
Premature death and hearing loss have a complicated association. But when we combine the abundance of data, an entire picture appears. The impact of hearing loss on relationships, health, and finances is unveiled. So it’s easy to recognize why the early demise link exists.
It’s also evident that having your hearing loss treated can counter the effects of hearing loss on each part of life. You can continue to live an active, social and healthy life well into those older years.