You likely already recognize that smoking is bad for you and so are things like leading a sedentary lifestyle. But did you realize there is fascinating research suggesting a link between untreated 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 people who suffer from untreated hearing loss appear to die earlier even when you take these differences into consideration.
Research Connecting Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, stats from more than 50,000 individuals was examined by Norwegian researchers. The cases of death for all the people were cross-referenced with the data. They were able to link a greater risk of premature death to hearing loss regardless of the cause of death.
The chance of cardiovascular death is increased for individuals who have hearing loss particularly if they live alone and there is a 21% higher morbidity for people with even mild hearing loss, according to other research.
Clarifying The Connection
Any time scientists discover a link, they never assume that one is necessarily producing the other. Determining what exactly the connection is will usually be the first thing they will try to do. What’s the common connection?
The Norwegian study also revealed that women and men who were divorced and women with no kids were also at higher risk. This suggests that social life has an effect on longevity.
Previous 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 risk of early death significantly.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Much like a pack of wolves or a herd of elephants in nature, social relationships offer several life-extending advantages to humans:
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, doing new things, and looking forward to their day can be greatly motivated by having people around.
- Support… Someone with a strong social group is more likely to ask for help if they require it (instead of attempting to do something dangerous by themselves).
- Safety… When there are more people around, there’s a greater chance you’ll receive medical attention immediately if you need it.
- Physical stimulation… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to get physical exercise.
- Improved diet and health… Making it to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more readily available for people who are socially active.
- Mental stimulation… You’re participating with people in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
What is it about untreated hearing loss that causes all of this?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Result of Neglected 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 in a room full of people you don’t know enjoying the company of each other, but paying no attention to you? It was most likely a lonely feeling. This is what untreated hearing loss can start to feel like. It’s not that people are ignoring you. The truth is, as the hearing loss progresses, it becomes harder to have a casual conversation with you.
On your side of things, you often feel out of the loop because you lose parts of the conversation. This can quickly make you withdraw emotionally and physically, even at family events. The enjoyment of going to a club or restaurant with friends starts to fade away. Simply avoiding these kinds of scenarios becomes common. Here are some other concerns that people who have progressing hearing loss cope with.:
- Mental exhaustion
These make social connections even more difficult.
However, in their research, the Norwegian researchers offer a silver lining. After examining their research, they came to a significant conclusion. Investing in hearing aids can eliminate the connection between premature 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. One such study was carried out by the American Academy of Audiology. That study revealed that using hearing aids regularly had the following benefits:
- Improved social life outside the home
- Better relationships with family
- More independence
Untreated Hearing Loss Linked to Early Death
The connection between hearing loss and early death is a complicated one. But an overall picture appears when all of the data is considered. The effect of hearing loss on health, relationships, and finances is revealed. So it’s easy to recognize why the early demise link exists.
It’s also clear that getting your hearing loss treated can counter the impact of hearing loss on every part of life. You will live a longer, healthier and socially active life.