The True Costs of Hearing Loss

If you have started to read my posts, you may notice that I'm becoming a fan of Jane Brody and her pieces in the New York Times.

Here is another example of how she advances our understanding on how hearing loss can cost you far more than just your ability to hear.  In her article, she highlights a person with hearing damage who for decades let his condition go untreated, and the very high personal price he paid as he slowly withdrew from social situations.  She then goes on to point out the very real, positive, and emotional uplift he received once hearing aids entered his life.

Left untreated, the costs of hearing loss can be significant
Left untreated, the costs of hearing loss can be significant

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Her story then goes on to say that his situation is not unique.  Most older adults wait five to 15 years before they seek help.

Costs associated with hearing loss and avoiding treatment include:

  • Distress to family members
  • Anxiety, embarrassment and lower self-esteem
  • Increased risk of dementia and cognitive impairment
  • Excessive fatigue, stress and headaches
  • Problems with eating, sleeping and sex
  • Lower wages (relative to people with good hearing)
  • And safety issues

Conversely, those who have hearing aids were more socially active and less likely to be depressed, worried, paranoid or insecure, and their family members and friends were even more likely than they were to have noticed these benefits.

To learn more, and get exposed to several of the studies that informed these conclusions, you can read this terrific article by clicking here.

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