The Larger Cost of Hearing Loss
Maybe you’re dealing with hearing loss. Maybe you know someone who is.
As easy as it might seem to write the ailment off as a part of growing older, it’s important to consider how hearing loss can affect other health issues — and healthcare costs — over time.
Hearing loss can make a big impact on health. A new study of adults over age 70 has found that hearing loss raises the risk of poor health and hospitalization, even when other health risks are taken into account.
A large survey of older adults was taken in 2005 and 2006, and then again in 2009 and 2010. After researchers adjusted for gender, race, education and certain health conditions (heart disease, stroke and diabetes), they still found that those seniors with poor hearing were about one-third more likely to report poor health and to be hospitalized, compared to their peers with normal hearing.
On top of that, those with hearing loss were 57 percent more likely to say they had poor mental or emotional health.
Although the study only shows a link between hearing loss and other health issues (not that hearing loss causes the problems), it’s import to consider how trouble hearing can impact someone’s lifestyle and healthcare costs in the long run.
Early detection and treatment is key to managing hearing-loss symptoms and to improving quality of life. Call your doctor if you notice symptoms like these:
- Muffled noises
- Trouble understanding what others are saying
- Difficulty dealing with social situations, due to a reduced ability to hear others
- Ear discomfort or itching
- Ringing, whirring or buzzing in the ear
- Fluid leaking from the ear (this might indicate an infection)
Hearing loss is a very personal condition, and we understand that it can be a sensitive subject to discuss. Our team offers highly specialized care with a range of treatment options, and we’d be happy to help find a solution that’s right for you.