The Cost in Dollars and Cents of Untreated Hearing Loss For taxpayers, a 2010 survey by the Better Hearing Institute on “The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income” compared income levels of people who used hearing aids, people with untreated hearing loss, and people with no hearing loss. The data shows that untreated hearing loss results in a loss of income per household of up to $30,000 per year, depending on the degree of hearing loss. This translates to $176 billion in unrealized income and a cost to society of $26 billion annually in unrealized federal income taxes (15% bracket). For workers, noise-induced hearing loss is the most common occupational disease and the second most self-reported occupational injury. For seniors, untreated hearing loss causes additional costs to Medicare and other health programs due to loss of independence, social isolation, depression, safety issues, and quality of life. In 1999, the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) conducted the largest known study on the effects of untreated hearing loss among adults and their families. The study quantified both the negative results of untreated hearing loss and the positive impact of hearing instruments on an individual’s quality of life. It found that impaired hearing results in distorted communication, isolation, withdrawal, reduced sensory input, depression, anger, and severely reduced overall psychological health. Conversely, hearing aid usage results in: Increased earnings power, of around 50%; Enhanced emotional and mental stability and reduced anger, anxiety, depression and paranoia; Reduced social phobias and improved interpersonal relationships. Untreated hearing loss is not an insignificant problem. The impacts are far-reaching. If you suspect you or someone close to you has a hearing loss, please contact us today for an appointment. The sooner you address the problem, the sooner you can minimize the impact of an untreated hearing loss.
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