Untreated hearing loss: It could cost you

Studies show that on average people with hearing loss wait almost 10 years before they do something about it. Many people say as long as they can hear some sound, it’s okay. However, recent studies have shown that untreated hearing loss could cost you physically, mentally and even in the pocketbook.

Costs in dollars

According to a recent report, untreated hearing loss in the U.S. costs $133 billion each year1. This breaks down to around $9,100 per person. With approximately 23 million people with disabling hearing loss, more than 14.6 million are not treated.

Another study suggested that older adults with untreated hearing loss may develop additional health problems that lead to more frequent hospitalizations and higher health care costs. They calculated an increase of 46% ($22,434) in total health care costs over a period of 10 years in relation to untreated hearing loss2.

Costs in health

People with at least 25dB hearing loss are three times more likely to report a fall. And for every 10dB increase in hearing loss, there was a 1.4 times increase in chance of falling3. Possible explanations for the link is that people who cannot hear well might not have good awareness of their overall environment, making tripping and falling more likely.

Costs in well-being

Communication impairments can lead to social isolation, loneliness and withdrawal. This can contribute to depression and even cognitive decline.

When auditory perception is difficult, such as with hearing loss, greater cognitive resources have to be dedicated to auditory processing, which is suspected to cause other processes, like working memory, to suffer. Those with hearing loss have demonstrated a 30% to 40% accelerated rate of cognitive decline4.

Using Phonak hearing aids help people with hearing loss stay part of the conversation and be more socially aware. They are able to spend time with friends and family, participate in group activities and hear important information.

Let us help you find a provider near you.

They can provide more information about hearing health, have your hearing checked and go over your options.

 

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Resources

1. Hear.it.org. February 25, 2019 news release.
2. JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. January 2019 article.
3. “Hearing Loss and Falls Among Older Adults in the United States” Frank Lin, M.D. Ph.D., Luigi Ferrucci, M.D., Ph.D. Archive of Internal Medicine 2012
4. Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults. Lin, Frank MD PhD et al. JAMA Internal Medicine 2013. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(4):293-299.Published online January 21, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.1868