You probably already recognize that smoking is bad for you and so are things like leading a sedentary lifestyle. But what most people probably don’t know is that there is some convincing research that shows a link between premature death and untreated hearing loss.
Individual life expectancy varies widely, of course. Access to healthcare, where you live, gender, type of work, and access to healthy food can all be factors in this variance. But people who suffer from neglected hearing loss appear to die earlier even when you take these differences into account.
Studies Linking Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, stats from more than 50,000 people was examined by Norwegian scientists. They cross-referenced that data with the causes of death for the examined people. Whatever the cause, early death could be connected to untreated hearing loss.
The risk of cardiovascular death is greater for those with hearing loss especially if they live by themselves and there is a 21% higher morbidity for people with even mild hearing loss, according to other studies.
Clarifying The Connection
Any time scientists find a link, they never presume that one is necessarily producing the other. Identifying what exactly the link is will usually be the first thing they will attempt to do. How are the two really related?
In this same study it was reported that there was an increased risk in women with no children and women and men who are divorced. This suggests that social life has an impact on longevity.
This assumption is supported by previous studies. One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology examined the data from over half a million individuals. It revealed that the risk of early death was significantly raised by social separation.
How Does Social Stability Contribute to Longevity?
Much like a pack of wolves or a herd of elephants in nature, social relationships offer several life-extending benefits to humans:
- Improved diet and health… Socially connected people usually have better access to healthy food and can get to doctor’s appointments.
- 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 others.
- Motivation… Having people around can encourage a person to get up, try new things and look forward to their day.
- Safety… If you need medical attention, you will be more likely to get it right away if there are more people nearby.
- Support… Someone who doesn’t have a strong social network is more likely to attempt to do something hazardous instead of seeking help.
What is it about untreated hearing loss that causes all of this?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Result of Neglected Hearing Loss
You most likely have family who will always be there for you. How could that be changed by hearing loss?
Have you ever been in a room full of strangers enjoying the company of each other, but paying no attention to you? You likely felt very alone. You can begin to feel like this with untreated hearing loss. It’s not that people are ignoring you. The truth is, as the hearing loss progresses, it becomes harder to share a casual conversation with you.
You frequently miss parts of the conversation and that makes you feel out of the loop. Emotional and physical withdrawal, even at family gatherings, can be the outcome. Going out with friends to a restaurant and participating in a social club, event or hobby loses its appeal. Simply avoiding these types of scenarios becomes common. In addition, many individuals suffering from advancing hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
Social connections become even more stressful because of these.
However, in their research, the Norwegian researchers offer a positive side. They reached a significant conclusion after examining 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 wear hearing aids and that can give you longevity.
Similar studies support these facts. One such study was conducted by the American Academy of Audiology. That study revealed that using hearing aids regularly had the following benefits:
- Enhanced social life outside the home
- Better relationships with family
- More independence
Neglected Hearing Loss Linked to Premature Death
The connection between hearing loss and premature death is a complex one. But when we combine the abundance of data, a whole picture appears. It demonstrates how hearing loss impacts finances, health, relationships, and more. So it’s easy to see why the early demise connection exists.
It’s also obvious that getting your hearing loss treated can counter the impact of hearing loss on every aspect of life. You will live a longer, socially active and healthier life.