Did you know that untreated hearing loss has huge repercussions, not only for your health and well-being but for your wallet as well?
Two recent studies investigated the hidden costs of living with untreated hearing loss.
Untreated Hearing Loss: Bad for Your Health
It is most likely obvious that living with untreated hearing loss is not good for your health. Still, not everyone understands why it’s a poor choice.
A study conducted at Johns Hopkins University found that among adults age 70 and older, moderate or severe hearing impairment was linked with over a 50% increase in mortality.
Hearing Loss and The Risks to Your Physical Health
The study did not investigate the causes of death and declared that future studies are needed. Still, it is clear that hearing loss is a factor in mortality.
Hearing loss is known to be associated with cardiovascular disease, as well as cognitive impairment and walking disability.
Hearing loss might also cause mortality in less obvious ways too. For example, people with untreated hearing loss may be more susceptible to car accidents if they can’t hear horns.
Unaddressed Hearing Loss and The Risks of Increased Accidents
Not being able to hear warnings or shouting could also lead to accidents, such as around dangerous construction sites or being asleep during a house fire. It’s important that people with hearing loss get it treated as soon as possible so they do not put themselves in unnecessary danger.
Untreated Hearing Loss: Bad for Your Wealth
A second recent study took a look into the hidden costs of leaving hearing loss untreated. The study, associated with the Medical University of South Carolina examined over half a million adults from 55 to 64 years old over the course of 18 months.
The Financial Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss
According to researchers, adults diagnosed with hearing loss have 33 percent higher healthcare costs than those without.
People with hearing loss spend an average of $14,165, while people without hearing loss spend an average of $10,629.
Interestingly, the study found that only 13 percent of the subjects with hearing loss had received hearing services.
This finding suggests that untreated hearing loss is correlated to higher medical bills than those who seek services and treatments for hearing loss.
Hearing loss worsens with age. So, the longer you put off treating hearing loss, the higher their medical bills. The study found negative results of hearing loss often occur earlier than previously thought.
Addressing hearing loss as soon as possible is important.
If hearing loss is addressed early in life, it may be less expensive to treat. For example, in some situations, a personal sound amplifier or just one hearing aid can suffice.
Waiting until hearing loss worsens is costly. This is especially true if the only way to treat hearing loss at that point is with pricey implants or surgeries.
It is clearly imperative to nip hearing loss in the bud, if possible. Treating hearing loss as early as possible is better for your health and for your pocket.
Avoid problems later in life by addressing your hearing loss now, and visiting your audiologist!
By: Elena McPhillips, Updated in 2023