You likely already know 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 indicates a connection between early death and neglected hearing loss.
Of course, life expectancy varies widely. This variance can be linked to things like where you live, access to healthy foods, healthcare accessibility, type of work, and even gender. But individuals who cope with neglected hearing loss appear to die earlier even when you take these differences into account.
Studies Linking Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Norwegian researchers evaluated the health data from more than 50,000 people over a two-year period. The cases of death for all the individuals were cross-referenced with the data. Whatever the cause, early death could be connected to neglected hearing loss.
The chance of cardiovascular death is increased for people with hearing loss particularly if they live by themselves and there is a 21% higher morbidity for people who suffer from even mild hearing loss, according to other studies.
Clarifying The Connection
For researchers, just because they find a connection doesn’t mean that a causality is firmly established. Determining what exactly the connection is will normally be the first thing they will try to do. How are the two really linked?
The Norwegian study further revealed that men and women who were divorced and women who did not have children were also at greater risk. This seemingly unrelated element suggests that the decrease in life expectancy may be connected to social ties.
This presumption is supported by previous studies. Data from over half a million participants was analyzed in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It reported that the chance of early death was considerably raised by social isolation.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Having relationships socially with others has numerous life-extending benefits much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:
- 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.
- Support… A person who doesn’t have a strong social network is more likely to attempt to do something risky instead of asking for help.
- 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… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to engage in physical exercise.
- Mental stimulation… You’re engaging with others in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
- Safety… When there are more people around, there’s a greater chance you’ll get medical attention immediately if you need it.
What is it about neglected hearing loss that causes all of this?
How Hearing Loss Can Leads to Social Isolation And Decreased Longevity
You probably have family who will always be there for you. It’s hard to imagine how hearing loss might change that.
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. This is what neglected hearing loss can start to feel like. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. It seems as if you’re being ignored because people are starting to have a difficult time having a conversation with you.
You frequently lose parts of the conversation and that makes you feel out of the loop. Emotional and physical withdrawal, even at family events, can be the outcome. The appeal of going to a club or restaurant with friends begins to fade away. You might find that you simply avoid these kinds of interactions. Here are a few other challenges that people who have progressing hearing loss cope with.:
- Mental exhaustion
Social interactions become even more difficult because of these.
The Norwegian researchers offer a silver lining in their research, however. After analyzing their research, they came to a significant conclusion. Buying hearing aids can clear away the link between early death and hearing loss.
Wearing hearing aids helps you stay active, social, and healthier for a longer period.
Similar studies back these facts. One such study was performed by the American Academy of Audiology. They found that when people with hearing loss use hearing aids consistently, they have:
- Greater independence
- Improved social life outside the home
- Better relationships with family
Premature Death Linked to Neglected Hearing Loss
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. The impact of hearing loss on health, relationships, and finances is revealed. So it’s easy to recognize why the premature demise link exists.
These studies also make it clear that treating hearing loss can counter its negative effects. You will live a longer, healthier and socially active life.