You probably already recognize that smoking isn’t good for you and neither are things like living a sedentary lifestyle. But did you know there’s fascinating research suggesting a link between neglected hearing loss and early death?
Of course, life expectancy varies widely. This variance can be linked to things like where you live, access to healthy foods, healthcare accessibility, kind of work, and even gender. But people who cope with neglected hearing loss seem to die earlier even when you take these differences into account.
Studies Linking Early Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, stats from more than 50,000 individuals was examined by Norwegian scientists. They cross-referenced that data with the causes of death for the examined individuals. They were able to link an increased risk of premature death to hearing loss regardless of the cause of death.
The chance of cardiovascular death is greater for individuals who have hearing loss particularly if they live by themselves and there is a 21% higher morbidity for individuals who suffer from even mild hearing loss, according to other research.
Clarifying The Link
For researchers, just because they find a connection doesn’t mean that a causality is solidly established. Identifying what precisely the connection is will normally be the first thing they will try to do. What’s the common thread?
The Norwegian study further revealed that women and men who were divorced and women with no kids were also at greater risk. This suggests that social life has an effect on longevity.
This presumption is supported by earlier research. Data from more than half a million participants was assessed in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It found that social isolation increases the risk of early death significantly.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Much like a pack of wolves or a herd of elephants in the wild, social relationships offer several life-extending advantages to humans:
- Motivation… Having people around can motivate a person to get up in the morning, do new things and look forward to their day.
- Mental stimulation… You’re participating with people in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
- Improved diet and health… Socially connected people usually have better access to healthy food and can get to doctor’s appointments.
- Support… Someone who doesn’t have a robust social network is more likely to try to do something risky instead of seeking help.
- Physical stimulation… If you have people around you, you’re more likely to get physical exercise.
- Safety… When there are more people around, there’s a higher chance you’ll receive medical attention immediately if you need it.
Why does neglected hearing loss stop social participation?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Consequence of Neglected Hearing Loss
You most likely have family who will always be there for you. How could that be fixed by hearing loss?
Have you ever been with a group of people you don’t know, who were ignoring you while talking to each other? You likely felt very alone. You can start to feel like this with neglected hearing loss. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. The truth is, as the hearing loss progresses, it gets harder to share a casual 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 gatherings, can be the result. The appeal of going to a restaurant or club with friends starts to fade away. You might find that you simply avoid these kinds of interactions. Additionally, many individuals experiencing advancing hearing loss have:
- Mental exhaustion
Social interactions become even more challenging because of these.
The Norwegian scientists offer a silver lining in their research, however. After examining their research, they came to a significant conclusion. The link between early death and hearing loss can be broken by wearing hearing aids.
Using hearing aids helps you stay active, social, and healthier for a longer period.
This fact can be backed by similar research. One such study was conducted by the American Academy of Audiology. They revealed that when people with hearing loss wear hearing aids regularly, they have:
- Stronger relationships with family
- More independence
- Improved social life outside the home
Neglected Hearing Loss Linked to Premature Death
The connection between hearing loss and early death is a complex one. But an entire picture appears when all of the data is considered. It demonstrates how hearing loss impacts finances, health, relationships, and more. So it’s easy to identify why the premature demise connection exists.
These studies also make it clear that managing hearing loss can counter its negative effects. You will live a longer, socially active and healthier life.