Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income

Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income


Susan L Fenrich, BC-HIS*
Latest posts by Susan L Fenrich, BC-HIS* (see all)

Untreated hearing loss can definitely impact household income. A national survey by the Better Hearing Institute is the first study to ever document the direct correlation between income loss and hearing loss. It demonstrates that hearing loss has a significant impact on people’s ability to earn a livelihood and underscores the importance of treating hearing loss as early as possible.

The “Hearing Loss on Household Income” study is based on data from 53,000 members of the National Family Opinion (NFO) panel, with responses from nearly 2,000 adults with untreated hearing loss, 2,000 with hearing aids, and nearly 40,000 with normal hearing.

Key Findings on Financial Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss:

  • Untreated hearing loss negatively affects household income. On-average, up to $23,000 per year depending on the degree of hearing loss.
  • The use of hearing instruments mitigates the effects of hearing loss on income by about 50 percent.
  • For every 10 percent increment in hearing loss, the difference in income disparity between those with untreated hearing loss and those with hearing aids increases at the rate of approximately $1,000.
  • For America’s 24 million hearing-impaired individuals who do not use hearing instruments, the impact of untreated hearing loss is quantified to be $122 billion annually.
  • At a 15 percent tax bracket, the cost to society of untreated hearing loss is estimated to be in excess of $18 billion due to unrealized taxes.

Key Facts on Hearing Loss:

  • More than 31 million Americans in non-institutional settings admit to a hearing loss, with only 37 percent of this population at retirement age.
  • Hearing loss among “baby boomers” has increased significantly to approximately 15 percent of individuals ages 45 through 64.
  • Only 23 percent of hard-of-hearing Americans are being helped with hearing instruments.
  • Hearing instruments are the necessary treatment for 90 to 95 percent of people with hearing loss.
  • Hearing loss has been shown to negatively affect nearly every dimension of the human experience, including physical health, emotional and mental health, perceptions of mental acuity, social skills, family relationships, self-esteem, and work and school performance.

With these facts in mind, don’t you think it’s time to schedule your hearing test?

This information is from the Better Hearing Institute.