People with untreated disabling hearing loss often suffer in other areas of their lives. Not only is your overall health at risk, but you may develop social anxiety, mental fatigue, depression, and/or a host of other conditions. Not to mention poor workplace performance as a result of any one or a combination of these.
An extensive scientific report from Professor Emerita Bridget Shield, Brunel University in London, with the assistance of Professor Mark Atherton, Brunel University, London, shows us that hearing aid users earn significantly more than non-users. As the severity of the hearing loss increases between the two groups, the differential increases between them as well. There is also twice the unemployment rate for non-users of hearing aids. There is substantial evidence that people with hearing loss earn significantly less, on average, than those with normal hearing. This information is documented in the Shield and Atherton report, “Hearing Loss – Numbers and Costs.”
Hearing aid users also report that their quality of life has improved and that hearing aids, or other hearing solutions like cochlear implants, have had a positive effect on their overall health. They report experiencing less physical and mental exhaustion, better sleep, better memory, and less depression than non-users.
According to the Shield and Atherton Report, there is considerable evidence that people with untreated hearing loss earn significantly less, on average, than those with normal hearing. They often hold fewer demanding jobs or retire earlier than people with normal hearing. People with untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to be experience higher unemployment rates, too.
The report also takes society as a whole into consideration with regard to disabling hearing loss. It states that untreated hearing loss means lost productivity, economic losses due to lower quality of life, and an increased burden on social benefits such as unemployment benefits and pensions. Shields and Atherton also consider the increased health care costs due to comorbidities such as depression and cognitive decline and more hospital visits in general.
“Hearing Loss – Numbers and Costs” finds that untreated disabling hearing loss in the EU costs €185 billion each year. The World Health Organization defines disabling hearing loss as greater than 40 dB in the better hearing ear. Lost productivity due to higher unemployment rates costs €55 billion in the EU and lower quality of life due to disabling hearing loss costs the EU €130 billion each year. This total, too, must be amended to take into consideration the increased health care costs associated with hospital visits due to comorbidities of untreated hearing loss.
Quality of Life
Untreated hearing loss can have a profound effect on your quality of life. The greater the severity of hearing loss, the greater the loss in quality of life you are likely to experience. The report shows the correlation between the two and also demonstrates that hearing loss has more of an impact on quality of life than many other chronic conditions, such as blindness and other vision impairments, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
There are a host of negative physical, mental, and social implications that can accompany untreated hearing loss. It can lead to social isolation and loneliness, which can in turn lead to depression. It can also have various effects on family and personal relationships: strained conversations, impatience and frustration with repetition, eventual withdrawal. Untreated hearing loss can also influence your physical health and well-being and reduce physical activity. These indicators all suggest that people with untreated hearing loss are more likely to have other chronic medical conditions than people with normal hearing.
Evidence shows that treating your disabling hearing loss is beneficial in a variety of ways. Wearing hearing aids or other hearing-assistive devices can allow you continued success in your career and a healthy social life, too.
Beverly Hills Hearing Center
When you take the steps to care for your hearing health, you can see the positive results all around you. You will have enriching conversations with friends and family, fulfilling social interactions and more peace of mind. This takes an ongoing relationship with our team at Beverly Hills Hearing Center. We can ensure that your hearing aid is fitted to your needs over time and act as a resource should you need anything. Schedule an appointment with Beverly Hills Hearing Center today to begin living your happiest and healthiest life.