Have you been struggling to hear? Maybe you’ve decided that your hearing loss isn’t that bad, and you don’t want to invest in hearing devices. But a new study shows that living with untreated hearing loss could be costing you thousands of dollars in health care costs.
Living with Untreated Hearing Loss
With untreated hearing loss, it is common to adapt and adjust over the years. While you may struggle to follow conversations and hear all of the sounds in your life clearly, it is important to remember that hearing loss does have a greater impact. As hearing loss progresses, you’ll have a harder time keeping up with conversations and struggle to hear in places with background noise. You might choose to stay home rather than straining to hear in a loud restaurant, and those with untreated hearing loss are far more likely to face social isolation and depression. Hearing loss also leads to more rapid cognitive decline, and increases your risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
When it comes to your health, hearing loss is also linked to more falls and accidents, since your ears are responsible for balance, and well as helping you hear warning sounds around you.
Hearing Loss and High Health Care Costs
A recent study that looked at 10 years of data, found that hearing loss will cost you a lot. Nicholas S. Reed, AuD, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues looked at data from the OptumLab Data Warehouse, a country-wide health care dataset with information from hundreds of thousands of Americans. They found that older adults with hearing loss had 46% higher health care costs than seniors who could hear.
In fact, patients with untreated hearing loss had 50% more hospital stays, and many faced readmission within 30 days. They visited the emergency room more often, and had on average 52 more outpatient visits than their hearing peers. Reed calculated costs, and found that those with hearing loss pay around $22,400 more in health care costs over a 10-year period. Not only is hearing loss costing you conversations and connections, and it’s also costing you thousands of dollars.
Explaining Higher Health Care Costs
Reed found that even two years after a hearing loss diagnosis, health care costs were noticeably higher, and these costs continued to rise over the 10-year period. Those with hearing loss visited the doctor more often, went to the hospital more, and incurred high health care costs.
Not only do those with hearing loss have more accidents, and struggle with more mental health concerns, communication is also a big factor when it comes to high health care costs. Those who struggle to communicate at home have an extremely hard time in the health care system. No one is at their best when in the hospital or at the doctor’s office, and the listening environment is often very challenging. Think about the beeping machines, clattering equipment rolling down the echoing hallway, and the noisy waiting room.
When you’re not able to hear the doctor clearly, you’re far less likely to accurately describe your health concerns. You’ll be unable to hear the doctor’s questions or advice, and are less likely to receive an accurate diagnosis. Not only that, but you’ll have a hard time following a treatment plan if you’ve never heard the instructions. This leads to more frequent doctor visits, and higher rates of hospitalization and readmission.
Treating Hearing Loss
Investing in hearing aids now will save you thousands of dollars in the next few years. With hearing aids you’ll be more active, get out of the house more often, enjoy a strong social life, and be healthier. You’ll have fewer accidents and won’t need to visit the doctor as often. When you do have a doctor’s appointment, you’ll be able to communicate with ease. Hearing aids will give you back the freedom you’ve been missing, and help you strengthen your relationships with the people you care about the most.
At My Hearing Centers, we’re dedicated to helping you hear, and helping you save money. We have the perfect device that will compliment your lifestyle, fit your hearing needs, and match your budget. Treating your hearing loss is one of the most important things you can do for your health, so visit us today and start your journey to clear hearing.