You likely already recognize that smoking is bad for you and so are things like living a sedentary lifestyle. But what most people probably don’t know is that there is some convincing research that demonstrates a connection between premature death and untreated hearing loss.
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 individuals who deal with neglected hearing loss appear to die earlier even when you take these differences into account.
Studies Connecting Early Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, stats from over 50,000 people was examined by Norwegian researchers. They cross-referenced that data with the causes of death for the studied individuals. They could connect an increased risk of premature death to hearing loss irrespective of the cause of death.
The chance of cardiovascular death is greater for those who have hearing loss especially if they live alone and there is a 21% higher morbidity for individuals with even moderate hearing loss, according to other research.
Clarifying The Connection
When scientists find a link, they never assume that one is necessarily producing the other. Instead, they try to determine why the connection occurs. What’s the common thread?
In this same study it was revealed that there was an increased risk in women with no children and women and men who are divorced. This indicates that social life has an effect on longevity.
Earlier studies support this presumption. One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology analyzed the data from over half a million individuals. It discovered that social seclusion raises the risk of early death substantially.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Much like a pack of wolves or a herd of elephants in nature, social connections offer a number of life-extending benefits to humans:
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, trying new things, and looking forward to their day can be greatly motivated by having people around.
- Physical stimulation… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to engage in physical exercise.
- Mental stimulation… You’re participating with others in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
- Support… Someone with a healthy social network is more likely to ask for help if they require it (instead of attempting to do something risky on their own).
- Safety… When there are more people around, there’s a greater chance you’ll receive medical attention immediately if needed.
- 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.
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 a very close relationship with your loved ones. How could that be changed 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? You probably felt very alone. This is what neglected hearing loss can begin to feel like. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. It seems as if you’re being ignored because people are beginning to have a hard 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 physically and emotionally, even at family gatherings. The enjoyment of going to a restaurant or club with friends starts to fade away. You may find that you simply avoid these kinds of interactions. Additionally, many people experiencing advancing hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
Social interactions become even more stressful because of these.
However, in their research, the Norwegian scientists offer a positive side. They reached a very important conclusion after evaluating their research. Buying hearing aids can clear away the connection between premature 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 research. The American Academy of Audiology carried out one such study. They revealed 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 Premature Death
Premature death and hearing loss have a complex connection. But when we combine the abundance of data, an entire picture emerges. It reveals how hearing loss impacts finances, health, relationships, and more. So it’s easy to identify why the premature demise link exists.
It’s also clear that having your hearing loss treated can reverse the effects of hearing loss on every part of life. You can keep living an active, social and healthy life well into those advanced years.