There are many risks associated with leaving your hearing loss untreated, including strained relationships with loved ones, increased feelings of loneliness and greater risk of anxiety, depression and even dementia. But if this isn’t enough to get you to take action, there’s one other risk that may: untreated hearing loss can cost you money.
Hearing Loss Is Associated with Higher Health Care Costs
One study published in the journal Jama Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery in 2016 found that middle-age adults in the U.S. who had untreated hearing loss had significantly higher medical bills compared to those without hearing loss.
Researchers examined data from 562,000 individuals ages 55 to 62 over an 18-month period. Most of the participants were enrolled in private, low-deductible health insurance plans for the duration of the study.
Results indicated that the participants with hearing loss had 33% higher health care costs in comparison to those without. Researchers also found that just 13% of participants with hearing loss were receiving treatment.
It is unclear exactly why those with hearing loss had higher health care costs, but researchers had two hypotheses:
- People who have trouble communicating may avoid putting themselves in certain social situations, like seeing the doctor. Putting off treatment for certain conditions can result in the condition worsening and treatment costs increasing.
- People with hearing loss may misunderstand instructions for their doctor, resulting in improper treatment and possibly higher cost in the long run.
How Hearing Aids Help
Hearing aids can help improve communication with others, including your medical provider. Seeking care when you need it and getting proper treatment yields the best outcomes and typically a lower health care price tag.
Your audiologist will work with you every step of the way to ensure your type and degree of hearing loss is properly diagnosed, the right hearing aid is selected and the programming is perfect for your unique needs.
If you’re concerned about the cost of hearing aids, talk to Desert Financial Credit Union about financing options.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the hearing experts at Arizona Desert ENT Specialists today.