Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Higher Healthcare Costs of Hearing Loss


There was a time when medical professionals routinely divided the body up into parts--heart, lungs, liver. Today, doctors are more conscious that the body is one system, and what is happening in one part can be indicative of what is happening to the body as a whole. No place is this connection more evident than with the ears. In fact, the state of your ears can predict future problems with your heart and your head. Maybe that's why a new study shows that people with hearing loss have higher medical bills.

As is becoming more widely accepted, hearing loss has been shown to be tied to whole body health. And, it turns out, people with hearing loss have higher medical bills even before the hearing loss is treated. So, no, the higher cost isn't because of hearing aids. In fact, although the study did not cover this, there is interest in learning how much hearing aid treatment may offset these higher costs.

So what was the difference of those with hearing loss compared to those who didn't have hearing loss? An article on ScienceDaily that reported on the JAMA study stated, "The authors found that individuals with a diagnosis of hearing loss had 33 percent higher health care payments (average, $14,165) during a 1.5-year time period compared to patients without hearing loss (average, $10,629). "

In other words this research suggests that people who have hearing loss are also more likely to have other health problems. What remains to be seen is how treating hearing loss may impact these higher cost. But we already know that hearing aids can reduce stress, improve relationships, and improve working memory. We also know that all of these benefits have an impact on whole body health. Which makes sense since less stress in all of these areas means less inflammation and less inflammation can lead to lower hospital bills. And, yeah, we're all about the benefits of hearing aids on PHB, but there's good reasons! Here's a list of the potential benefits of treating your hearing loss:

• Increases Income—If you're using hearing aids in a hearing world, you increase your ability to operate in that world, appear more reliable and aware, and that can lead to increase in income.
• Strengthen Relationships—Makes sense. If you can hear people, you can communicate better.
• Reduce Discrimination— Hearing aids help eliminate this discrimination by providing a more level playing field for people with hearing loss.
• Reduce Frustration—Hearing loss can impact balance, safety, stress, and your interpretation of events and subtle emotional tones.
• Reduce Depression—Hearing aids reduce the need for self-isolation and therefore the depression often associated with it.
• Reduce Anxiety- Hearing aids can return a lost, youthful acceptance about going out, making it once again “normal” and not something to get worked up and worried about.
• Reduce Paranoia—Not hearing well can result in common misconceptions about safety, social acceptance, and leave people feeling dismissed.
• Reduce Social Phobias—Avoidance of social situations is a common result of unaddressed hearing loss. Using hearing aids reduces this stress and relieves this social phobia.
• Reduce Self-Criticism—Even though hearing loss is the cause people tend to blame themselves for mistakes in communication. Hearing aids increase the ability to hear and communicate helping eliminate this type of self-criticism.
• Increase Self-Esteem—Studies show that self-esteem increases in conjunction with the comfortable use of hearing aids.
• Increase Overall Health—Use of hearing aids have been shown to decrease cognitive and mental decline which has a positive and lasting effect of brain activity and the processing of numerous health components.
• Increase Ability to Concentrate—Hearing well means that the stress and concentration once needed to interpret environment and speech is relieved.
• Increase Feelings of Self-Worth—Increasing your capacity to work faster, socialize, and understand has a dramatic impact on how you feel about your life and yourself.
• Diminish Unexpected Incidents of Falling- Mental exhaustion from hearing loss can increases likelihood of falls. Hearing aids reduce mental fatigue increasing the ability to concentrate and that helps keep you safe and happy

After reading this list, maybe you can better understand why we are so devoted to hearing technologies. Besides the fact that today's hearing aids are just really cool, we also know that they can help improve your physical and emotional health. If you'd like to learn more about the advances in today's hearing aid technology, please see your hearing health professional. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!


The JAMA Network Journals. "Middle-aged adults with hearing loss have substantially higher health care costs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160407115912.htm (accessed May 31, 2016).

ScienceDaily. "Middle-aged adults with hearing loss have substantially higher health care costs" https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160407115912.htm (accessed May 31, 2016).

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