Premature Death Can Sometimes be Connected to Untreated Hearing Loss


You likely already recognize that smoking is bad for you and so are things like living a sedentary lifestyle. But what most people probably don’t know is that there is some convincing research that shows a connection between early death and neglected hearing loss.

Individual life expectancy varies widely, of course. This variance can be linked to things like access to healthy foods, where you live, healthcare accessibility, kind of work, and even gender. But people who cope with untreated hearing loss seem to die earlier even when you take these differences into account.

Research Connecting Premature Death to Hearing Loss

Norwegian scientists evaluated the health data from over 50,000 individuals over a two-year period. They cross-referenced that data with the causes of death for the examined people. They could connect an increased risk of early death to hearing loss irrespective of the cause of death.

Other research reveals that even moderate hearing loss is related to a 21% higher morbidity rate and that there’s an increased danger of cardiovascular death for individuals who have hearing loss, especially if they live by themselves.

Clarifying The Link

For researchers, just because they discover a link doesn’t mean that a causality is solidly established. Rather, they attempt to determine why the connection occurs. What’s the common connection?

In this same study it was revealed that there was an increased risk in women with no children and men and women who are divorced. This suggests that social life has an effect on longevity.

Previous studies support this assumption. One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology evaluated the data for more than half a million participants. It reported that the risk of early death was considerably increased by social separation.

How is Longevity Increased by Social Stability?

Much like a pack of wolves or a herd of elephants in nature, social relationships offer numerous life-extending benefits to humans:

  • Mental stimulation… You’re sharing, joking and conversing with people.
  • Motivation… Getting up in the morning, trying new things, and looking forward to their day can be strongly motivated by having others around.
  • Support… Someone who doesn’t have a robust social network is more likely to try to do something risky instead of seeking help.
  • Safety… If you need medical help, you will be more likely to get it quickly if there are more people around.
  • Physical stimulation… You’re more likely to go out and do things if you have people around.
  • Improved diet and health… Making it to doctor’s appointments is easier and healthy food is more readily available for individuals who are socially active.

Why does neglected hearing loss decrease social participation?

Decreased Longevity And Social Isolation Can be The Result of Untreated Hearing Loss

You probably have a very close relationship with your loved ones. It’s hard to imagine how hearing loss might change that.

Have you ever been with a group of strangers, who were ignoring you while talking to each other? You probably felt very alone. You can begin to feel like this with neglected hearing loss. People aren’t necessarily ignoring you. Actually, as the hearing loss progresses, it becomes more difficult to have a casual conversation with you.

You frequently lose parts of the conversation and that makes you feel out of the loop. This can very easily cause you to withdraw physically and emotionally, even at family get-togethers. Going out to a restaurant with friends and attending a social club, event or hobby loses its appeal. Simply avoiding these kinds of situations becomes common. Here are some other concerns that people who have progressing hearing loss deal with.:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Mental exhaustion

Social connections become even more stressful because of these.

However, in their research, the Norwegian researchers offer a positive side. After analyzing their research, they came to a significant conclusion. The connection between early death and hearing loss can be disrupted by wearing hearing aids.

Wearing hearing aids helps you stay active, social, and healthier for a longer period.

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

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

Early Death Linked to Neglected Hearing Loss

The link between hearing loss and early death is a complex one. But an entire picture emerges when all of the data is considered. It shows how hearing loss impacts health, finances, relationships, and more. So it’s easy to see why the early demise connection exists.

These studies also make it obvious that treating hearing loss can reverse its adverse effects. You will live a longer, healthier and socially active life.


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.