Most people understand that living a sedentary lifestyle and smoking is bad for them. But what most people probably don’t realize is that there is some compelling research that shows a connection between premature death and neglected hearing loss.

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 even taking these differences into consideration, people with neglected hearing loss appear to die earlier.

Research Connecting Early Death to Hearing Loss

Norwegian scientists evaluated the health data from over 50,000 people over a two-year period. The cases of death for all the individuals were cross-referenced with the data. They could connect a greater risk of premature death to hearing loss regardless of the cause of death.

Other studies show that even mild hearing loss is linked to a 21% higher morbidity rate and that there’s an increased risk of cardiovascular death for those with hearing loss, particularly if they live by themselves.

Clarifying The Connection

When scientists find a link, they never assume that one is necessarily causing the other. Identifying what exactly the connection is will normally be the first thing they will attempt to do. What’s the common connection?

In this same study it was reported that there was an increased risk in women with no kids and men and women who are divorced. This seemingly unrelated factor indicates that the decrease in life expectancy may be related to social ties.

Earlier research supports this presumption. Data from more than half a million participants was assessed in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology. It revealed that social solitude increases the danger of early death significantly.

How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?

Connecting socially with others has numerous life-extending advantages much like a herd of elephants or a pack of wolves:

  • Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to go out and do things if you have people around.
  • Safety… If you need medical help, you will be more likely to get it quickly if there are more people nearby.
  • Mental stimulation… You’re engaging with others in conversation, jokes, sharing, and more.
  • Improved diet and health… Socially connected people often have better access to healthy food and can make it to doctor’s appointments.
  • Motivation… Having people around can encourage a person to get up in the morning, try new things and look forward to their day.
  • Support… A person who doesn’t have a robust social network is more likely to try to do something risky instead of seeking help.

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 a very close relationship with your loved ones. How could that be fixed by hearing loss?

Have you ever been with a group of strangers, who were ignoring you while chatting with each other? You likely felt very alone. You can start to feel like this with untreated hearing loss. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. It seems like you’re being ignored because people are starting to have a difficult time having a conversation with you.

On your side of things, you often feel out of the loop because you miss parts of the conversation. Physical and emotional withdrawal, even at family events, can be the outcome. Going out with friends to a restaurant and attending a social club, event or hobby loses its enjoyment. You may find that you simply avoid these types of interactions. In addition, many individuals suffering from advancing hearing loss have:

  • Paranoia
  • Mental exhaustion
  • Anxiety

Social connections become even more difficult because of these.

However, in their research, the Norwegian researchers offer a positive side. They reached a significant conclusion after examining their research. The link between premature death and hearing loss can be disrupted by wearing hearing aids.

Wearing hearing aids helps you remain active, social, and healthier for a longer time.

Comparable studies back these facts. The American Academy of Audiology performed one such study. That study revealed that using hearing aids consistently had the following benefits:

  • Stronger relationships with family
  • More independence
  • Improved social life outside the home

Untreated Hearing Loss Linked to Premature Death

The connection between hearing loss and early death is a complicated one. But when we integrate the abundance of data, an entire picture emerges. It reveals how hearing loss impacts finances, health, relationships, and more. So the premature death link isn’t hard to understand.

It’s also obvious that having your hearing loss treated can counter the impact of hearing loss on each part of life. You can keep living an active, social and healthy life well into those advanced years.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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