Have you resisted the calls from family, friends, and co-workers to finally get a hearing aid? Do you think that you really don’t need a hearing aid or that you’re not missing enough to warrant getting one?
Even if you think you’re doing fine right now, your hearing loss could catch up with you – and if it does, it could cost you upwards of $30,000 per year. Going without part of your hearing means you may miss important work or medical information and opportunities, and you could end up hurting yourself physically, too.
Lost Opportunities and Unemployment
If you do not hear everything you’re supposed to, it will eventually impact your work performance. You could lose out on future projects because you didn’t follow instructions on previous work, or your relationship with co-workers could have deteriorated due to you being unable to hear them. If you become socially isolated at work, you could end up overlooked by people at all levels of the company. These “small” things add up over time and affect your ability to reach your full earning potential. A study by the Better Hearing Institute found that people with untreated hearing loss earned, on average, $20,000 less a year than those who treated their hearing loss.
Research also indicates people with untreated hearing loss also have a higher risk of being unemployed. An untreated severe hearing loss translates into a 15 percent higher chance of being unemployed. Not getting treatment, therefore, could cost you a lot of money as the years go on.
Additional Medical Bills From Falls
Untreated hearing loss can deal another financial blow by actually making you more likely to fall. One study found that even those with mild untreated hearing loss increase their risk of falling 300 percent. In addition, there is a 1.4-fold increase in falls for every additional 10 dB of hearing loss. The researchers speculated that there could be a link between the degree of loss and effects on the vestibular system, which handles balance, or that people with greater loss simply became more caught up in compensating for the loss than paying attention to particular physical hazards. And of course, those falls result in more medical bills, and thus more money out of your pocket.
Worse Health Outcomes
But that’s not all. If you can’t hear well, you could miss information from your doctor. If you miss information, you could end up having a worse outcome in a health matter, thus leading to more bills and more problems. All of these incidents add up to a major financial gap. Numerous studies link untreated hearing loss to substantially higher medical costs over time. One study said the average increase was more than $20,000 over a ten year period and that these people were 40% more likely to end up in the emergency room. A more recent study from the University of South Carolina indicated that untreated hearing loss led to a 33% increase in healthcare costs over an 18 month period.
Another study from Johns Hopkins University indicated that people with untreated moderate to severe hearing loss had a significantly higher risk of death.
So, if you’re interested in protecting yourself both financially and physically, it’s time to get your hearing evaluated. Depending on the test results, you may need to get hearing aids. If you do, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised. Modern hearing aids are incredibly clear and comfortable. Take advantage of the available technology to make your life better in all respects.