Hearing loss is a global health concern, and it’s the fifth leading cause of disability worldwide. In the U.S. alone, about 30 million people have lost some hearing in both ears. Some of these individuals were born with hearing loss, while others acquire it later in life. The cases are either gradual or acute, mild or severe.
Despite the classification of each case, difficulty in hearing has many negative consequences. These include a negative impact on general health, communication abilities, social participation, and quality of life. Regardless of these significant effects, many people with hearing loss don’t seek or get the medical attention they need. Here are the factors that lead to this sad scenario:
1. Cost of hearing health care
The cost of hearing aids in Minneapolis and other parts of the U.S. depend on the sophistication of the device and the clinic involved. Unfortunately, Medicare and most private health insurers don’t cover hearing aids, making the cost of these devices a significant expense.
2. Accessibility of health care services
Some affected individuals find it difficult to access appropriate audiology services. Still, other people with hearing loss don’t understand how or where to get the services they need.
Some people fear stigmatization. Consequently, they don’t want to appear in need or to obtain hearing health care. Such people could be living with an insensitive environment, but their fear could also be imaginary.
Hearing loss is an unseen health condition that usually develops gradually over time. Consequently, many people don’t realize they require help early enough.
Some individuals with hearing difficulty feel helpless. Some also feel that available interventions don’t have benefits that adequately compensate the effort needed to overcome the hurdles to access.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) estimates that 67% to 86% adults who are in need of hearing aids don’t use them. Early diagnosis is important, so you should seek help as soon as possible.