Insurers offering group benefits plans may be surprised by a new report which has found that, each year, Canada loses about $20 billion for untreated, disabling hearing loss.
The report, “Hearing Loss – Numbers and Costs,” was recently published by international non-profit Hear-it AISBL. One of the other key findings of the report was that Canada is home to about 1.7 million people with an untreated and disabling hearing loss, which means the country spends about $11,800 per untreated disabled person each year.
The Global Burden of Disease research group defined a “disabling hearing loss” as a hearing loss greater than 35 decibels on the better ear.
Approximately 900,000 other Canadians have a disabling hearing loss, but have been treated, the study found. This means only one in three Canadians with disabling hearing loss uses hearing aids or other hearing solutions.
Hear-it AISBL suggests that as the population steadily ages and the onset of hearing loss comes earlier with the increase in noise exposure, the gap between treated and untreated individuals with disabling hearing loss will grow.
“The scientific report clearly demonstrates that untreated hearing loss is a major health issue and that untreated hearing loss has a huge economic and social impact on our society. It also documents that checking your hearing and treating hearing loss pays, both for the individual and for society,” commented Hear-it AISBL secretary general Kim Ruberg.