If you are living with hearing loss and have not yet looked into your treatment options, you are not alone. Only about 20% of those who could benefit from a hearing aid actually seek help. While you may be familiar with the many health reasons why you should treat your hearing loss, there is another reason that may help change your mind. Choosing not to treat your hearing loss may be costing you money. Before you head down to Amarillo Community Federal Credit Union to assess the damage, read more about how to prevent this from happening to you.
Higher Health Care Costs Associated with Hearing Loss
A 2016 study published in JAMA Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery investigated the relationship between health care costs for middle-aged American adults and untreated hearing loss. The researchers looked at data from 562,000 adults between the ages of 55 and 64. Most of the participants were enrolled in a low-deductible health insurance plan and had been covered for at least 18 months.
The researchers determined that over an 18-month period, those who were diagnosed with hearing loss had 33% higher health care costs that those who had normal hearing. Participants with untreated hearing loss spent an average of $14,165 on their health care compared to those without hearing loss, who spent only $10,629.
Why the Connection
While this study was unable to present a cause-and-effect relationship between hearing loss and higher health care costs, they did discover a statistical association. The researchers suspect that the higher medical bills may be related to those with hearing loss putting off seeking treatment. If they have a hard time communicating, they may avoid visiting their doctor until their problems have escalated. With most medical conditions, the longer you wait, the more complicated and expensive the treatment options become.
A communication breakdown from untreated hearing loss could also result in participants incorrectly following medication directions. If a patient incorrectly takes their antibiotics, they will have to start the treatment process again, meaning they will end up paying for the medication twice.
The researchers also determined that of the 280,882 participants in their study who were diagnosed with hearing loss, only 13% of them were receiving treatment for their hearing loss. To learn more about why you should treat your hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact Ormson Hearing Clinic today.