You likely already recognize that smoking isn’t good for you and neither are things like living a sedentary lifestyle. But did you realize there’s intriguing research revealing a link between untreated hearing loss and premature death?
Of course, life expectancy varies widely. This variance can be linked to things like access to healthy foods, where you live, healthcare accessibility, type of work, and even gender. But individuals who suffer from untreated hearing loss seem to die earlier even when you take these differences into account.
Studies Linking Early Death to Hearing Loss
Norwegian researchers evaluated 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 studies show that even mild hearing loss is associated with a 21% higher morbidity rate and that there’s an increased danger of cardiovascular death for individuals with hearing loss, especially if they live alone.
Clarifying The Link
For scientists, just because they uncover a link doesn’t mean that a causality is solidly demonstrated. Identifying what precisely the link is will usually be the first thing they will try to do. How are the two really related?
The Norwegian study further showed that women and men who were divorced and women with no kids were also at higher risk. This suggests that social life has an impact on longevity.
Earlier research supports 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 considerably.
How Does Social Stability Contribute to Longevity?
Connecting socially with other people has many life-extending advantages much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:
- Support… Someone who doesn’t have a strong social network is more likely to attempt to do something risky instead of seeking help.
- Safety… If you require medical help, you will be more likely to get it quickly if there are more people nearby.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, doing new things, and looking forward to their day can be powerfully motivated by having people around.
- Improved diet and health… Socially connected people often have better access to healthy food and can make it to doctor’s appointments.
- Mental stimulation… You’re engaging with others in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
- Physical stimulation… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to get physical exercise.
Why does untreated hearing loss decrease social participation?
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 changed 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 alone. This is what untreated 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 tough time having a conversation with you.
From your perspective, you frequently feel out of the loop because you lose parts of the conversation. Physical and emotional withdrawal, even at family events, can be the outcome. Going out to a restaurant with friends and participating in a social club, event or hobby loses its enjoyment. You might find that you simply avoid these kinds of interactions. Additionally, many people suffering from advancing hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
Social interactions become even more challenging because of these.
However, in their research, the Norwegian scientists offer a positive side. They reached a significant conclusion after examining their research. Investing in hearing aids can eliminate 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 supported by similar studies. One such study was performed by the American Academy of Audiology. That study revealed that wearing hearing aids consistently had the following benefits:
- Stronger relationships with family
- More independence
- Enhanced social life outside the home
Untreated Hearing Loss Linked to Premature Death
Premature death and hearing loss have a complicated association. But when we integrate the abundance of data, an entire picture appears. The effect of hearing loss on relationships, health, and finances is revealed. So the early death link isn’t difficult to comprehend.
It’s also obvious that getting your hearing loss treated can reverse the effects of hearing loss on every part of life. You can continue to live an active, social and healthy life well into those older years.