Putting Off That Hearing Test? Here’s Another Reason to Hear Your Best!
It’s no surprise that getting hearing help can make communicating and connecting with the world around you so much easier, but did you know that using hearing aids might also have a hand in cutting down emergency-room visits and hospital stays?
In a study published earlier this year in the medical journal JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, University of Michigan researchers investigating connections among hearing technology, health care consumption, and spending linked seniors’ self-reported use of hearing aids to changes such as the following:
- Reduced ER visits and hospitalizations — each by 2 percentage points
- Decreases in overnight hospital stays by about 0.46 nights
- A reduction in Medicare spending — by approximately $71
So … less hospital food? Add that to the ever-growing list of better-hearing benefits. (Just kidding; some hospitals bring their A-game to patient meals!)
An estimated 466 million children and adults around the globe live with disabling hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization, with about a third of older adults affected. It’s one of the top chronic public-health challenges — potentially curbing the ability to thrive physically, socially, mentally, and financially.
Most hearing problems can be effectively treated with today’s advanced hearing technology. Even so, only a fraction of those who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them, making awareness, access, and encouragement an important part of boosting treatment rates.
With past research already connecting hearing loss to a greater chance of hospitalizations, extended illnesses, or injuries among hearing-impaired adults, the above-mentioned study, “Association Between Hearing Aid Use and Health Care Use and Cost Among Older Adults With Hearing Loss,” points to another crucial difference life-changing hearing devices can make.