World Hearing Day 2017: Economic Impact of Hearing Loss

“World Hearing Day” is this Friday, March 3rd, and Carolina Hearing Doctors wants to highlight the theme for this year – “Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment.” Untreated hearing loss has an enormous economic impact but read below to see how treatment can have an even greater positive impact.

The Staggering Cost of Hearing Loss
$750 billion. That’s how much untreated hearing loss costs the global economy each and every year.

Annual health care system cost (other than the cost of hearing devices) range between $67-$107 billion
$105 billion in loss of productivity, due to unemployment and premature retirement from hearing loss
Societal costs, as a result of social isolation, communication difficulties and stigma reach upwards of $573 billion

But just as inaction is costing billions, evidence is showing action to be very cost-effective. In some cases hearing loss can be avoided altogether by using the right ear protection in loud settings. Early hearing screenings and the continuous use of hearing aids in children can address hearing issues early and prevent most of the negative, permanent effects of hearing loss. For adults who seek treatment while still working are more likely to remain employed, advance in their careers, and find new employment opportunities than those with untreated hearing loss.

The benefits aren’t only for the individuals either. Society as a whole can see the following improvements from addressing hearing loss early:

  • Financial savings and significant return on investment
  • Increased access to education
  • Greater employability and earnings which benefits the economy
  • Lower costs related to depression and cognitive decline
  • An integrated society

Untreated hearing loss is reaching epidemic proportions when it doesn’t have to. In the civilized world the access to identification and treatment is at an all-time high. Technology solutions using hearing aids and other listening technologies have never been more accessible or affordable.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has long been an advocate for raising awareness about health concerns, including those that are hearing-related. Started in 2007, World Hearing Day aims to raise awareness and promote ear and hearing care across the world.

For more information on the 2017 World Hearing Day campaign, click here.

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