Most people recognize that leading a sedentary lifestyle and smoking isn’t good for them. But did you realize there’s fascinating research suggesting a link between untreated hearing loss and premature death?
Personal 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 people who deal with untreated hearing loss appear to die earlier even when you take these differences into consideration.
Studies Connecting Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, stats from more than 50,000 individuals was examined by Norwegian researchers. They cross-referenced that data with the causes of death for the studied individuals. Whatever the cause, premature death could be linked to untreated hearing loss.
Other research reveals that even moderate hearing loss is associated with a 21% greater morbidity rate and that there’s an increased danger of cardiovascular death for people with hearing loss, particularly if they live by themselves.
Clarifying The Link
For researchers, just because they discover a connection doesn’t mean that a causality is solidly established. Instead, they attempt to establish why the connection occurs. How are the two really linked?
The Norwegian study further showed that women and men who were divorced and women with no children were also at higher risk. This seemingly unrelated element suggests that the decrease in life expectancy might be connected to social ties.
This presumption is backed by earlier research. One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology analyzed the data from more than half a million participants. It reported that the risk of early death was substantially raised by social isolation.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Having relationships 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 people.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, doing new things, and looking forward to their day can be greatly motivated by having people around.
- Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to go out and do things if you have people around.
- Support… Someone who doesn’t have a robust social network is more likely to attempt to do something risky instead of asking for help.
- Safety… If you need medical help, you will be more likely to get it quickly if there are more people around.
- Improved diet and health… Socially connected people usually have greater access to healthy food and can get to doctor’s appointments.
What is it about neglected hearing loss that causes all of this?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Result of Untreated Hearing Loss
You probably have family who will always be there for you. How could that be changed by hearing loss?
Have you ever been with a group of strangers, who were ignoring you while talking to each other? You probably felt very alone. This is what untreated hearing loss can start to feel like. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. The truth is, as the hearing loss progresses, it becomes more difficult to have a casual conversation with you.
You frequently miss 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 events. The appeal of going to a club or restaurant with friends begins to fade away. You might find that you simply avoid these types of interactions. Additionally, many individuals suffering from worsening hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
Social interactions become even more difficult because of these.
However, in their research, the Norwegian scientists offer a positive side. They reached a significant conclusion after analyzing their research. Buying hearing aids can clear away the connection between premature death and hearing loss.
You will stay healthier, more active and social if you use hearing aids and that can give you longevity.
Similar studies back these facts. One such study was performed by the American Academy of Audiology. That study revealed that wearing hearing aids regularly had the following benefits:
- Enhanced social life outside the home
- More independence
- Stronger relationships with family
Neglected Hearing Loss Linked to Early Death
The connection between hearing loss and premature death is a complex one. But an overall picture appears when all of the data is taken into account. It shows how hearing loss impacts health, finances, relationships, and more. So the premature death link isn’t difficult to understand.
These studies also make it clear that managing hearing loss can reverse its detrimental effects. You can continue to live an active, social and healthy life well into those older years.