01 July 2019

An untreated hearing loss results in increased healthcare costs

Healthcare costs increase with an untreated hearing loss. A greater risk of other diseases and conditions such as dementia and depression as well as injuries and falls are some of the major reasons.

For people with an untreated hearing loss, healthcare costs increase by 46% - or by $22,434 per person – over a period of 10 years compared to people without a hearing loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US.

More hospital stays

The study found that after 10 years, patients with untreated hearing loss had experienced about 50% more hospital stays, had about a 44% higher risk of hospital readmission within 30 days, were 17% more likely to have an emergency department visit and had about 52 more outpatient visits compared to those without hearing loss.

Dementia, depression and falls

Seniors with an untreated hearing loss have a greater risk of dementia, depression, falls and other conditions, another study finds. Older adults with untreated hearing loss have an estimated 50% greater risk of dementia, 40% greater risk of depression and almost 30% greater risk for falls compared with those without hearing loss over a 10-year period, according to a study.

Communication problems

There is a 32% increased risk of hospital readmission if you experience hearing problems and have trouble communicating, yet another study finds. The study found that hospital patients with hearing loss who have trouble communicating with medical personnel are more likely to end up back in the hospital within 30 days, compared to patients who don’t have trouble hearing.

Accidental injuries

Finally, a study has found that if you have hearing difficulties, you are at greater risk of being involved in an accidental injury. The study showed that respondents with a lot of trouble hearing were twice as likely to experience an accidental injury than respondents with excellent hearing. The most prevalent types of injuries among respondents with hearing difficulties were related to work and leisure.

 

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