[Hearing loss impacts close to 48 million people in the U.S. alone. This number may be on the rise as the World Health Organization projects that globally, 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe personal audio devices like smartphones and exposure to damaging levels of sound in extremely noisy environments. But not only is the number of those at risk for hearing loss on the rise, so is the cost of untreated hearing loss. It is estimated that untreated hearing loss in the U.S. costs $133 billion each year!
The Cost of Untreated Hearing Loss
A recent study by Hear-it AISBL, an international organization based in Belgium, indicated that it costs the U.S. a total of $133 billion a year or $9,100 per person when it comes to untreated hearing loss. 7% of all adults live with hearing loss, and more than 2 out of 3 people are not treated for hearing loss.
So where do these costs stem from? Hear-it AISBL’s study analyzed and compared hundreds of scientific papers from the last two decades revolving around the prevalence and consequences of hearing loss around the globe. They found that these costs are related to lower quality of life and higher unemployment among those with untreated hearing loss. Those living with untreated hearing loss at a higher risk of social isolation, depression, and even dementia. These things lead to higher health care costs.
Secretary General Kim Ruberg of Hear-it AISBL affirms this: “The scientific report clearly demonstrates that untreated hearing loss is a major health issue and that untreated hearing loss has a huge economic and social impact on our society. It also documents that checking your hearing and treating hearing loss pays, both for the individual and for society.”
The Rise of Hearing Loss
The Hear-it AISBL study reports that more than 14.6 Americans are not treated for their hearing loss and that only one in three with hearing loss use a hearing aid to improve their situation. With a steadily aging population who live longer with an earlier onset of hearing loss due to increased noise exposure, the number of people facing hearing loss will rise in the years to come. This is also echoed by the World Health Organization in their prediction that by 2050, 900 million people will be impacted by hearing loss, with an annual global cost of $750 billion. With these rising numbers, it is important to realize that treating hearing loss can not only lower the associated health risks for yourself, but also decrease high financial costs on society.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
One benefit of treating hearing loss would be lowering the staggering $133 billion price tag that comes with taking care of untreated hearing loss. But there are obviously more direct and positive benefits of treating your hearing condition. Many reports and studies have shown that untreated hearing loss is linked to general, social and mental health. For example, getting your hearing tested and treated improves your social life as you are able to again connect and communicate with friends and loved ones. By doing so, it improves cases of anxiety and depression linked to one’s mental health. Likewise, getting one’s hearing treated avoids potential falls that we may encounter due to hearing loss.
The benefits of treating loss are plentiful: the ability to restore what your life once was prior to living with untreated hearing loss, the rekindling of relationships with friends and family, and the improvement in overall quality of life. None of these things can happen though until you decide to stop letting your hearing loss go untreated.
Visit Atlanta Hearing Doctor Today!
Kim Ruberg of Hear-it AISBL’s advice is this, “If you think you might have hearing loss…my best advice is to get your hearing check.” If you or a loved one has been straining to hear or notice that your hearing isn’t as clear as before, take the step in the right direction and get your hearing tested. Reach out to Atlanta Hearing Doctor today to book a hearing test. Our hearing health professionals will be able to guide you through the process in improving your hearing health, discuss potential treatment, and explore hearing aid options. Waiting to seek treatment is costly, so reach out to us today!