As a hearing care professional, you’re well aware of the importance of properly treating hearing loss, and you know how hearing loss can affect a person’s overall health and quality of life. However, not all patients—even those with hearing loss—share this same understanding.
When you’re able to share the importance of treating hearing loss with your patients, they’re more likely to seek treatment and be compliant with your treatment recommendations. Sharing this information online, whether on your website or through social media, can also help motivate individuals with untreated hearing loss to seek out treatment from a hearing care professional like you.
According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, older adults with untreated hearing loss incur higher healthcare costs over time. We’ve compiled important information and statistics from this study that you can easily share with your current and potential patients to emphasize the necessity of proper treatment for hearing loss.
- Hearing loss affects 38 million Americans, and according to current aging trends, that number is expected to double by 2060.
- It’s estimated that one in three people in the US between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and two in three adults over the age of 70 have clinically significant hearing loss.
- Over 10 years, patients with untreated hearing loss incurred an average of 46 percent higher healthcare costs, totaling an additional $22,434 per person.
- When compared over 10 years with patients who were similar in many factors except hearing loss, individuals with untreated hearing loss experienced an average of 50 percent more hospital stays, had a 44 percent higher risk of being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days, were 17 percent more likely to have an emergency department visit, and had 52 percent more outpatient visits.
- During those 10 years, patients with untreated hearing loss had an estimated 50 percent greater risk of dementia, 40 percent greater risk of depression, and 30 percent higher risk of falls.
- Hearing loss may contribute to higher healthcare costs in that untreated hearing loss can interfere with effective communication between the patient and the healthcare provider. In these cases, the patient may not be able to properly communicate their symptoms, participate in discussions to develop a recommended health plan, or follow discharge or treatment instructions.
From this study, it’s clear that untreated hearing loss not only affects a person’s quality of life, but also leads to significantly greater healthcare costs. With this information, you can easily share the importance of proper hearing loss treatment with patients—for not only their health, but their finances as well. Greater knowledge on this topic will help patients better understand the necessity of seeking treatment for hearing loss, and will also demonstrate your personal care and interest in their health and quality of life.
If you’d like to learn more about how to convert visitors into patients, please contact our experienced team at AudiologyPlus today. We’re here to help you learn how to better reach your audience and grow your practice.