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Getting cataract surgery, having a hip replacement, staying on an exercise regime to keep old age aches and pains at bay – these are the things we do to keep ourselves fit our awesome. We also watch our investments, try to keep growing our savings and make sure we allocate for some “me time,” too. As part of that, we at Coweta Hearing Clinic urge you to make sure you keep living with hearing clarity and you take care of your hearing with regular exams. It’s an investment that will pay off!
Hard Evidence of Benefits
“Hearing Loss – Numbers and Costs” is a recent report done by two professors at Brunel University in London. It notes that hearing aid users can earn far more than non-hearing aid users and the earning gap widens with the severity of hearing loss. Likewise, unemployment rates are approximately twice as high for those with hearing loss who don’t wear hearing aids versus those who do wear hearing aids.
As far as earning power goes, the report concludes there is “considerable evidence” that people with hearing loss earn, using an average, less than those who have normal hearing.
Hearing aid users reported improvements in the overall quality of their life with hearing aid use leading to positive impacts on family relationships. Hearing aids as well as other hearing devices including cochlear implants also have a positive affect on general health. There is less physical and mental exhaustion, better sleep and memory and less depression than non-users.
Earnings and Cost to Society
People with untreated hearing loss account have an 83% unemployment rate compared to the population in general and people with disabling hearing loss generally retire early or take less demanding jobs which means their average income is below that of people with normal hearing.
For society as a whole, untreated hearing loss means lost productivity, economic losses due to quality of life issues and a general drain on social benefits including unemployment benefits, early withdrawals from pension funds and increased health care losses due to depression and cognitive decline associated with untreated hearing loss. There are also more hospital visits, earlier readmission, and longer hospital stays associated with untreated hearing loss.
Quality of Life Issues
The report notes people with untreated hearing loss experience a lower quality of life in general and the more severe of the hearing loss, the lower the quality of life. Hearing loss has a greater impact on the quality of life than other chronic issues such as vision impairment, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Untreated hearing loss has a combination of effects that negatively impact on physical, mental and social aspects of life.
Untreated hearing loss has been found to lead to depression, loneliness and social isolation. People with hearing loss reduce their physical activity which affects their general health and they are more likely to have chronic diseases compared to those with normal hearing. Numerous studies document the links between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline and early onset dementia.
Fatigue both at work and after work is a major problem for those with hearing loss. It is exhausting to try and piece together the fragments of what you hear and it takes great concentration. People with untreated hearing loss generally have more sick days.
Treatment is Cost-Effective
Treatment of hearing loss, either with cochlear implants or hearing aids, is more cost effective than untreated hearing loss, according to the report. As a matter of fact, weighing the cost of untreated hearing loss to the individual as well as society makes getting hearing aids downright cheap! Looking at hearing aids as an investment equates out to reaping rewards that are several times the cost of the hearing aids. This is especially so when it comes to earnings and job productivity as well as quality of life and health care costs.
Coweta Hearing Clinic
Waiting for hearing issues to resolve themselves or just “getting used to being hard of hearing” is a bad idea. Many adults wait more than five years to get hearing issues addressed, according to recent statistics and the personal losses just keep mounting during that time. At Coweta Hearing Clinic, we work with a number of hearing aid providers and can find you the best fit for your degree and type of hearing loss, your lifestyle and your budget.