Most people recognize that living a sedentary lifestyle and smoking is bad for them. But did you know there’s intriguing research indicating a connection between neglected hearing loss and premature death?
Individual life expectancy varies widely, of course. This variance can be connected to things like access to healthy foods, where you live, healthcare accessibility, type of work, and even gender. But individuals who deal with neglected hearing loss seem to die earlier even when you take these differences into account.
Studies Connecting Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Norwegian scientists looked at the health data from more than 50,000 individuals over a two-year period. The cases of death for all the individuals were cross-referenced with the data. Whatever the cause, premature death could be connected to untreated hearing loss.
Other research reveals that even mild hearing loss is related to a 21% greater morbidity rate and that there’s an increased danger of cardiovascular death for individuals who have hearing loss, particularly if they live by themselves.
Clarifying The Link
When scientists discover a connection, they never assume that one is necessarily causing the other. Determining what exactly the link is will normally be the first thing they will try to do. What’s the common thread?
In this same research it was reported that there was an increased risk in women with no kids and women and men who are divorced. This suggests that social life has an effect on longevity.
Previous studies support this assumption. Data from more than half a million individuals was assessed in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It revealed that social seclusion increases the risk of early death significantly.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Not unlike a pack of wolves or a herd of elephants in the wild, social relationships offer several life-extending advantages to humans:
- Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to go out and do things if you have people around.
- Mental stimulation… You’re engaging with people in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
- Support… Someone with a robust social network is more likely to ask for help if they require it (instead of trying to do something risky by themselves).
- Safety… If you need medical help, you will be more likely to get it right away if there are more people nearby.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, doing new things, and looking forward to their day can be greatly motivated by having others 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.
Why does untreated hearing loss stop social participation?
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Social Separation And Decreased Longevity
You most likely have a very close relationship with your loved ones. 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. You can begin to feel like this with neglected hearing loss. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. It seems like you’re being ignored because people are beginning to have a difficult time having a conversation with you.
You often miss parts of the conversation and that makes you feel out of the loop. Physical and emotional withdrawal, even at family gatherings, can be the result. The enjoyment of going to a restaurant or club with friends starts to fade away. You might find that you simply avoid these kinds of interactions. Here are a few other challenges that individuals who have progressing hearing loss deal with.:
- Mental exhaustion
Social interactions become even more stressful because of these.
The Norwegian researchers offer a silver lining in their research, however. After examining their research, they came to a significant conclusion. Buying hearing aids can clear away the link between premature death and hearing loss.
Wearing hearing aids helps you stay active, social, and healthier for a longer time.
Comparable studies back these facts. The American Academy of Audiology carried out one such study. They found that when people with hearing loss use hearing aids regularly, they have:
- More independence
- Enhanced social life outside the home
- Stronger relationships with family
Untreated Hearing Loss Connected to Early Death
Premature death and hearing loss have a complicated connection. But when we combine the abundance of data, an entire picture appears. It shows how hearing loss affects finances, health, relationships, and more. So it’s easy to identify why the premature demise connection exists.
It’s also evident that having your hearing loss treated can reverse the effects of hearing loss on every part of life. You will live a longer, socially active and healthier life.