You likely already recognize that smoking is bad for you and so are things like living a sedentary lifestyle. But did you realize there is intriguing research indicating a connection between untreated hearing loss and premature death?
Of course, life expectancy varies widely. This variance can be related to things like where you live, access to healthy foods, healthcare accessibility, kind of work, and even gender. But people who deal with untreated hearing loss appear to die earlier even when you take these differences into consideration.
Research Connecting Premature Death to Hearing Loss
Over a two year period, stats from over 50,000 individuals was evaluated by Norwegian scientists. They cross-referenced that data with the causes of death for the examined individuals. Whatever the cause, premature death could be connected to untreated hearing loss.
Other studies show that even moderate hearing loss is linked to a 21% higher morbidity rate and that there’s an increased danger of cardiovascular death for those who have hearing loss, particularly if they live by themselves.
Clarifying The Connection
When scientists discover a connection, they never assume that one is necessarily causing the other. Rather, they try to establish why the connection occurs. How are the two really linked?
In this same research it was revealed that there was a greater risk in women with no children and women and men who are divorced. This seemingly unrelated element indicates that the decrease in life expectancy may be linked to social ties.
This assumption is supported by earlier studies. One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology evaluated the data from over half a million participants. It found that social solitude increases the risk of early death considerably.
How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?
Having relationships socially with other people has numerous 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 try to do something hazardous instead of asking for help.
- Safety… If you need medical help, you will be more likely to get it right away if there are more people nearby.
- Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to get up and do things if you have people around.
- Mental stimulation… You’re sharing, joking and conversing with people.
- Improved diet and health… Making it to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more immediately available for people who are socially active.
- Motivation… Getting up in the morning, trying new things, and looking forward to their day can be greatly motivated by having people around.
Why does neglected hearing loss decrease social participation?
Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Result of Neglected Hearing Loss
You probably 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 each other’s company, but ignoring you? You probably felt very alone. This is what untreated hearing loss can start to feel like. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. The truth is, as the hearing loss develops, it becomes harder to have a casual conversation with you.
You frequently miss parts of the conversation and that makes you feel out of the loop. This can very easily make you withdraw physically and emotionally, even at family gatherings. Going out with friends to a restaurant and participating in a social club, event or hobby loses its appeal. You might find that you simply avoid these types of interactions. Here are some other challenges that individuals who have progressing hearing loss deal with.:
- Mental exhaustion
These make social contact even more challenging.
The Norwegian scientists offer a silver lining in their research, however. After analyzing their research, they came to a significant conclusion. Purchasing hearing aids can eliminate the connection between early death and hearing loss.
Using hearing aids helps you stay active, social, and healthier for a longer time.
Similar studies support these facts. One such study was performed by the American Academy of Audiology. They revealed that when individuals with hearing loss wear hearing aids consistently, they have:
- More independence
- Improved social life outside the home
- Stronger relationships with family
Early Death Linked to Untreated Hearing Loss
Early death and hearing loss have a complex connection. But when we integrate the wealth of data, a whole picture emerges. The impact of hearing loss on relationships, health, and finances is revealed. So it’s easy to identify why the early demise connection exists.
These studies also make it obvious that managing hearing loss can reverse its detrimental effects. You will live a longer, healthier and socially active life.
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