What’s untreated hearing loss costing your organization? In laying out the premise for World Hearing Day — March 3rd — the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that unaddressed hearing loss comes with a global price tag of $980 billion U.S. dollars. This dilemma involves people of all ages, from infants to the elderly.
Although World Hearing Day is globally focused, the WHO’s findings are consistent with the situation in the U.S. Here, an estimated 14.6 million individuals live with untreated, disabling hearing loss, which translates to an annual cost of $133 billion, or $9,100 per person, states an article in The Hearing Review.
Viewed from another perspective, individuals with untreated hearing loss incurred, on average, 46% higher total health care costs — or $22,434 per patient— versus their normal-hearing peers over the course of a decade, with health plans covering $20,403 of this amount, according to a John Hopkins study. Documented comorbidities of hearing loss include depression, dementia, social isolation and injury-causing falls.