Most people recognize that living a sedentary lifestyle and smoking isn’t good for them. But did you know there is intriguing research indicating a link between neglected hearing loss and early death?
Of course, life expectancy varies widely. This variance can be related to things like access to healthy foods, where you live, healthcare accessibility, kind of work, and even gender. But even accounting for these differences, people with neglected hearing loss appear to die earlier.
Studies Connecting Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, data from more than 50,000 people was examined by Norwegian researchers. The cases of death for all the individuals were cross-referenced with the data. They could link an increased chance of early death to hearing loss irrespective of the cause of death.
The chance of cardiovascular death is increased for those with hearing loss especially if they live alone and there is a 21% higher morbidity for people who suffer from even mild hearing loss, according to other studies.
Clarifying The Link
Any time scientists discover a connection, they never assume that one is necessarily causing the other. Instead, they try to determine why the connection occurs. How are the two really related?
In this same study it was reported that there was a greater risk in women with no kids and men and women who are divorced. This suggests that social life has an impact on longevity.
This presumption is supported by earlier studies. One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology evaluated the data for over half a million participants. It reported that the risk of early death was significantly raised by social separation.
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:
- Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to get up and do things if you have people around.
- Improved diet and health… Making it to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more immediately available for individuals who are socially active.
- Support… A person with a strong social network is more likely to ask for help if they need it (instead of trying to do something risky by themselves).
- Mental stimulation… You’re participating with others in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
- Safety… If you require medical help, you will be more likely to get it right away if there are more people around.
- Motivation… Having people around can motivate a person to get up in the morning, do new things and look forward to their day.
What is it about neglected hearing loss that takes all of this away?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Consequence of Neglected Hearing Loss
You most likely have family who will always be there for you. How could that be fixed by hearing loss?
Have you ever been in a room full of people you don’t know enjoying each other’s company, but paying no attention to you? It was most likely a lonely feeling. You can begin to feel like this with untreated hearing loss. It’s not that people are ignoring you. The truth is, as the hearing loss develops, it gets more difficult to have a casual conversation with you.
From your perspective, you frequently feel out of the loop because you miss parts of the conversation. This can quickly make you withdraw emotionally and physically, even at family gatherings. The appeal of going to a restaurant or club with friends begins to fade away. Simply avoiding these kinds of scenarios becomes common. Here are a few other challenges that people who have progressing hearing loss deal with.:
- Mental exhaustion
These make social connections even more challenging.
However, in their research, the Norwegian scientists offer a silver lining. They reached a very important conclusion after analyzing their research. Purchasing hearing aids can clear away the link between early death and hearing loss.
You will remain healthier, more active and social if you use hearing aids and that can give you longevity.
This fact can be reinforced by similar studies. The American Academy of Audiology performed one such study. That study revealed that wearing hearing aids regularly had the following benefits:
- Enhanced social life outside the home
- Greater independence
- Better relationships with family
Early Death Linked to Neglected Hearing Loss
The connection between hearing loss and early death is a complicated one. But an overall picture emerges when all of the data is taken into account. It reveals how hearing loss affects finances, health, relationships, and more. So the premature death link isn’t difficult to understand.
It’s also clear that getting your hearing loss treated can reverse the effects of hearing loss on every aspect of life. You will live a longer, socially active and healthier life.