Untreated hearing loss significantly contributes to social isolation and loneliness, increasing the risk of mortality

Study Shares the Association Between Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Hearing Loss and Increased Risk of Mortality

by | Jun 21, 2024 | Hearing Loss

A recent study has drawn a troubling connection between social isolation, loneliness, hearing loss, and an increased risk of mortality. 

The findings, which have gained significant attention, underscore the critical importance of addressing these issues to improve overall health and longevity. 

The Impact of Social Isolation and Loneliness

According to a comprehensive meta-analysis referenced by CNN Health, individuals experiencing social isolation have a 32 percent higher risk of premature death from any cause compared to those who are not socially isolated.  

The analysis, which reviewed 90 studies involving over two million adults, also found that individuals who reported feeling lonely had a 14 percent higher likelihood of early mortality. 

This startling data highlights the severe health implications of loneliness and social isolation, which are often exacerbated by untreated hearing loss. 

  • Higher risk of premature death from any cause compared to those who are not socially isolated. 32% 32%
  • Individuals who reported feeling lonely had a 14 percent higher likelihood of early mortality. 14% 14%

Hearing Loss: A Key Factor in Social Isolation

Hearing loss significantly impacts an individual’s ability to communicate and engage with others. Difficulty hearing speech and following conversations can lead to frustration, anxiety, and self-consciousness in social situations. 

As a result, many individuals with hearing loss may begin to withdraw from social activities, leading to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

The Health Consequences of Loneliness

The study also reveals that loneliness and social isolation can be considered chronic stressors, leading to adverse health outcomes. 

Prolonged feelings of loneliness trigger the release of stress hormones that negatively affect the body, contributing to various health issues, including cardiovascular disease, depression, and a weakened immune system. 

A Call to Action

The study’s findings serve as a wake-up call for policymakers, healthcare professionals, and communities to address the detrimental effects of loneliness and social isolation. 

They also highlight the critical role that regular hearing testing and treatment play in mitigating these issues. 

The Importance of Regular Hearing Testing

We understand firsthand how untreated hearing loss can contribute to loneliness and social isolation. We are passionate about encouraging individuals to prioritize regular hearing assessments to maintain their quality of life and overall health. 

If you know someone who may be losing confidence or disconnecting from the world around them, encourage them to have their hearing tested. We often see significant improvements in social engagement and overall well-being following a hearing evaluation and appropriate intervention. 

Schedule Your Hearing Assessment

With appointments for new patients currently available, now is the time to take action. Call us at (206) 657-5675 to schedule a convenient date and time for your visit.

Alternatively, you can request a callback, and a friendly member of our team will answer any questions you may have. 

With untreated hearing loss only worsening over time, please don’t delay. Taking steps to address hearing loss can help prevent the negative spiral of social isolation and its associated health risks. 

Schedule An Assessment With Us

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Lori Losey Lovato MA, FAAA, Audiologist

Lori is a lifelong resident of the Tri-Cities. She and her husband Anthony are proud to be raising their family here. She attended Washington State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences and her master’s degree in audiology.