Most people recognize that leading a sedentary lifestyle and smoking is bad for them. But did you realize there is intriguing research indicating a link between neglected hearing loss and early death?
Personal life expectancy varies widely, of course. This variance can be related to things like access to healthy foods, where you live, healthcare accessibility, kind of work, and even gender. But people who suffer from neglected hearing loss seem to die earlier even when you take these differences into consideration.
Research Connecting Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Norwegian scientists looked at the health data from more than 50,000 people over a two-year period. They cross-referenced that data with the causes of death for the studied people. They were able to link a greater chance of early death to hearing loss irrespective of the cause of death.
Other research reveals that even mild hearing loss is related to a 21% greater morbidity rate and that there’s an increased risk of cardiovascular death for those who have hearing loss, especially if they live by themselves.
Clarifying The Connection
For researchers, just because they discover a link doesn’t mean that a causality is firmly demonstrated. Determining what precisely the link is will usually be the first thing they will try to do. How are the two really linked?
The Norwegian study also revealed that men and women who were divorced and women who did not have children were also at increased risk. This suggests that social life has an impact on longevity.
This presumption is supported by earlier research. One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology examined the data for over half a million participants. It reported that the risk of early death was substantially raised by social separation.
How Does Social Stability Increase Longevity?
Much like a pack of wolves or a herd of elephants in nature, social relationships offer a number of life-extending benefits to humans:
- Support… A person who doesn’t have a strong social network is more likely to try to do something hazardous instead of seeking help.
- Safety… If you require medical attention, you will be more likely to get it quickly if there are more people nearby.
- Improved diet and health… Making it to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more readily available for individuals who are active socially.
- Motivation… Having people around can encourage a person to get up in the morning, do new things and look forward to their day.
- Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to go out and do things if you have people around.
- Mental stimulation… You’re sharing, joking and conversing with people.
What is it about untreated hearing loss that causes all of this?
How Hearing Loss Can Leads 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 strangers, who were ignoring you while chatting with each other? It was most likely a lonely feeling. This is what neglected hearing loss can begin to feel like. It’s not that people are ignoring you. It seems like you’re being ignored because people are starting to have a difficult time having a conversation with you.
From your perspective, you often feel out of the loop because you miss parts of the conversation. This can quickly cause you to withdraw physically and emotionally, even at family get-togethers. 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. Here are a few other concerns that individuals who have progressing hearing loss cope with.:
- Mental exhaustion
Social interactions become even more challenging because of these.
The Norwegian scientists offer a positive side in their research, however. After examining their research, they came to a significant conclusion. Purchasing hearing aids can eliminate 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. One such study was conducted by the American Academy of Audiology. They found that when those with hearing loss use hearing aids regularly, they have:
- Greater independence
- Stronger relationships with family
- Enhanced social life outside the home
Premature Death Linked to Untreated Hearing Loss
Premature death and hearing loss have a complicated association. But when we combine the wealth of data, a whole picture appears. It reveals how hearing loss impacts health, finances, relationships, and more. So the premature death connection isn’t hard to comprehend.
It’s also evident that having your hearing loss treated can counter the impact of hearing loss on each part of life. You will live a longer, socially active and healthier life.