World Health Organization (WHO) would like you to help spread the message of the high costs associated with unaddressed hearing loss. The theme this year, “Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment,” hopes to draw attention to the economic losses associated with hearing loss, which is estimated at upwards of $750 billion in barriers to education and social integration, loss of productivity, and cognitive decline and depression.
*Interventions to address hearing loss are cost-effective!
2) Early identification
4) Education and empowerment
Decision-makers can address hearing loss
1) Allocating suitable resources
2) Integrating ear and hearing care into health systems
3) Building human resource capacity
4) Implementing early identification and intervention programmes
5) Increasing awareness among all sectors of society
Inaction comes at a high cost
Annually, unaddressed significant hearing loss results in:
- Health care system cost, other than the cost of hearing devices: $67-107 billion
- Loss of productivity, due to unemployment and premature retirement: $105 billion
- Societal cost, as a result of social isolation, communication difficulties and stigma: $573 billion
- Cost of additional educational support to children with hearing loss aged 5-14 years: $3.9 billion
Taking action is cost effective!
Take the cost saving measures. Prevent hearing loss by protecting against loud sounds and identifying and treating otitis media (ear infections). Identify hearing loss early through screening newborns, school children and adults above the age of 50. Provide rehabilitation together with support for continuous use of hearing aids. Improve access to cochlear implants. And, captioning and sign language interpretation are effective in making information accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people.
Taking action benefits society and countries everywhere
Interventions to address hearing loss result in:
- Financial savings and significant return on investment
- Increased access to education
- Greater employability and earnings which benefits the economy as a whole
- Lower costs related to depression and cognitive decline
- A more integrated society
*This information was provided by WHO. Visit the website for additional information, including banners, brochures, and fliers with this information.