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Untreated Hearing Loss Can Cost You $$

We know that not getting help for hearing loss can affect a person’s quality of life, including a person’s feelings of isolation, fatigue and stress. Recent research also suggests that untreated hearing loss increases the risk of the onset of dementia.

Apparently not seeking help for hearing loss can also affect a person’s pocketbook.

Survey data from the Better Hearing Institute suggests that untreated hearing loss accounts for about $100 billion in lost income every year. The study estimated that lost income for untreated loss averaged from $1,000 a year for someone with a mild loss to $12,000 a year for those with severe loss. The study did not include the social or emotional “cost” of the negative effects on family and friends.

Effective hearing is important in many work settings. Verbal communication with co-workers, employers and customers may be an important part of a worker’s responsibilities. Hearing may also be a safety issue in some settings.

The loss in income apparently is due to underemployment, higher rates of unemployment, job mistakes and poorer job performance due to communication errors and the stress, anxiety and depression that untreated hearing loss can cause. Those emotional factors may affect job performance.

On the other hand, hearing loss is not associated with a higher rate of retirement when related factors such as age, gender and health status are accounted for.

According to former BHI director Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., the loss in income is cut in half for hearing aid users. As he put it: “Some people may be embarrassed to admit they have a hearing loss. But the price of vanity is lost earnings and a diminished ability to communicate effectively with family, friends and co-workers.”

So tell your friends: getting help for hearing loss not only improves your quality of life – it’s a good investment.

From our Hearing Health Care News

A newsletter for our patients, their families and friends

Spring 2015