You likely already know that smoking isn’t good for you and neither are things like living a sedentary lifestyle. But what most people probably don’t know is that there is some convincing research that shows a link between early death and neglected hearing loss.
Individual 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 even accounting for these differences, individuals with neglected hearing loss appear to die earlier.
Studies Linking Early Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, data from more than 50,000 people was examined by Norwegian scientists. They cross-referenced that data with the causes of death for the studied individuals. Whatever the cause, early death could be linked to neglected hearing loss.
Other studies show that even mild hearing loss is related to a 21% higher 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
Any time scientists find a connection, they never presume that one is necessarily producing the other. Determining what precisely the connection is will normally be the first thing they will attempt to do. How are the two really related?
In this same study it was revealed that there was an increased risk in women with no children and men and women who are divorced. This suggests that social life has an effect on longevity.
Previous studies support this presumption. Data from more than half a million participants was examined in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It found that social solitude raises the danger of early death substantially.
How Does Social Stability Increase Longevity?
Connecting socially with others has numerous life-extending advantages much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:
- Mental stimulation… You’re sharing, joking and conversing with others.
- 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.
- Safety… When there are more people around, there’s a higher chance you’ll receive medical attention right away if needed.
- Motivation… Having people around can motivate a person to get up in the morning, try new things and look forward to their day.
- Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to get up and do things if you have people around.
- Support… Someone who doesn’t have a robust social network is more likely to try to do something risky instead of seeking help.
Why does neglected hearing loss decrease social participation?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Result of Neglected Hearing Loss
You probably 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 talking to each other? You likely felt very lonely. This is what neglected hearing loss can begin to feel like. It’s not that people are ignoring you. It seems as if you’re being ignored because people are beginning to have a tough time having a conversation with you.
You frequently lose parts of the conversation and that makes you feel out of the loop. This can quickly cause you to withdraw emotionally and physically, even at family gatherings. Going out to a restaurant with friends and attending a social club, event or hobby loses its enjoyment. You might find that you merely avoid these types of interactions. In addition, many people suffering from worsening hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
Social connections become even more challenging because of these.
The Norwegian scientists offer a silver lining in their research, however. After analyzing their research, they came to an important conclusion. The connection between early death and hearing loss can be broken by wearing hearing aids.
You will stay healthier, more active and social if you use hearing aids and that can give you longevity.
This fact can be supported by similar studies. One such study was performed by the American Academy of Audiology. That study revealed that using hearing aids regularly had the following benefits:
- Greater independence
- Enhanced social life outside the home
- Better relationships with family
Untreated Hearing Loss Connected to Early Death
The link between hearing loss and premature death is a complex one. But when we integrate the abundance of data, an entire picture appears. It demonstrates how hearing loss affects health, finances, relationships, and more. So the premature death connection isn’t hard to comprehend.
It’s also obvious that getting your hearing loss treated can reverse the effects of hearing loss on each aspect of life. You will live a longer, healthier and socially active life.