According to World Health Organization statistics, unaddressed hearing loss is a major public health expense, costing governments worldwide $980 billion annually.
Because hearing loss (and related ear diseases) can be prevented or quickly addressed when identified promptly, interventions to prevent, identify, and treat hearing loss are not only a cost-effective use of tax dollars and provide benefits to individuals.
Raising awareness and encouraging hearing loss intervention by policymakers and individuals is one of WHO’s goals as they rolled out their World Hearing Day on March 3rd of 2021. We’re joining the WHO’s effort to promote hearing care in Northern Illinois communities because we want everyone affected by hearing loss to receive the help they need.
The Key Issues Associated with Untreated Hearing Loss
The message the World Health Organization wants to spread to individuals and policymakers around the globe in 2021 is summarized in their theme, “Hearing Care for ALL! Screen, Rehabilitate, Communicate.” is. The number of individuals affected by hearing loss is about 1.5 billion, nearly 25% of the global population, but an additional billion are expected to experience some degree of hearing loss by 2050. Addressing this growing problem begins with raising global awareness of the key issues associated with untreated hearing loss, which include:
- Most people with hearing loss wait 7 to 10 years before scheduling a hearing assessment.
- Though hearing loss is the 3rd most common health condition in the US, most people focus on dental care, eye exams, cholesterol and blood pressure checks, and annual physicals while making hearing tests a low priority on their list of health screenings.
- The elderly are not the only ones who suffer from hearing impairment; it can affect people of all ages.
- The use of hearing protection and proper listening habits can prevent potential damage to your hearing.
- Reduced cognitive function, depression and anxiety, poor balance, decreased productivity, and strained relationships are among the ongoing risks of unaddressed hearing loss.
- The stigmas associated with hearing aids and the misconception that they are bulky, unsightly, and fastidious continue to turn people away from seeking the help they need.
WHO’s focus is to encourage screening, rehabilitation, and better communication worldwide. Still, it’s our responsibility to determine how best to encourage our family, friends, and neighbors to take hearing loss and hearing care more seriously.
How Can You Help Get the Word Out?
Most of us don’t expect to be affected by hearing loss, so we usually miss the unexpected signs until we struggle to communicate with family, friends, and coworkers. Educating ourselves and others about the negative impact of leaving hearing loss untreated while demonstrating that professional hearing care can adequately address hearing challenges can reduce its effect on our community.
The available solutions begin with scheduling a hearing assessment and promoting hearing screenings.
Fox Valley ENT Is the Place to Begin Your Hearing Health Journey
The risks of leaving avoiding treatment for your hearing loss are far worse than any misconceptions you or your loved ones might have about hearing aids and hearing care.
Solutions are available to address hearing loss regardless of its cause or severity. At Fox Valley ENT, the team and I focus on ensuring that those already affected by hearing loss and those at risk of doing further damage to their hearing receive the help they need.
If you or a loved one would like to start your journey toward better hearing health, contact us at the Northern Illinois clinic in your area to schedule a hearing assessment, or request a callback.