Hello, my name is CryptoDeaf. It’s worth noting that hearing loss when left untreated without proper care and education actually costs the American health care system far more than if they were to completely cover all audiologist visits and 100% of the cost of hearing aids and cochlear implants. It’s a falsehood to believe that denying free hearing aids and cochlear implants to those that need them will end up saving money.
The reality is, denying even hearing aids to someone just hard of hearing can cost upwards to 50 to 60 times more to the health care system than if they had just covered the hearing aids, care and education.
The lack of coverage for hearing results in most lower income people from receiving the proper hearing treatment that they need. And as I can attest to personal experience, my own hearing loss has caused tremendous amounts of depression stemming from the feeling of isolation.
Hearing aids are incorrectly listed by insurance providers as a cosmetic device when the reality is that hearing is not cosmetic but a needed thing in life. We humans are social creatures and require being able to socialize with one another in order to be happy, however you cut the hearing off then we’re going to result in having mental health issues and further down the road atrophy of the brain (dead serious too).
It’s not just about being unable to hear or hear properly. When you can’t hear, you end up with social isoation, loneliness, depression and risk of suicide. It’s high time the health care industry starts giving a damn about people with hearing loss, as it’s really not cost effective for them to deny us proper care. Oh don’t want to spend $13,000 USD for a set of high end hearing aids with all the bells and whistles like bluetooth so we can talk on a cell phone, enjoy music and things like that and an FM transmitter to be able to better hear our party or associates in crowded spaces? Enjoy the more expensive bill of us needing mental health care, therapy, mental health medications, possibility of needing mental health intake care for the suicidal, medical issues caused by suicide attempts, etc.
What can untreated hearing loss result in?
withdrawal from social situations
risk to personal safety
disability in learning new tasks
reduced job performance / earning capbility
diminished psychological health
diminished cognitive function
higher risk of dementia
increased risk of alzheimers disease
increased risk to safety (not being able to hear potential intruders, call 911 or other emergency services for help when needed, etc)
It’s a lot like sitting and watching the game of life but never being able to play yourself.
And worse if I’m by myself and break my legs or back falling down the stairs, how the hell do I place a phone call to get help? If someone is breaking into my home to harm me and I’m alone, how do I get help? The best I can currently do if hurt is to say “I’m deaf I need paramedics to address here” repeatedly until they hang up and wait and hope they got the message and got my address correct.
And yes that’s scenario that’s actually happened to me before and I know I’m not alone in that regard.
It’s cheaper to just give me the fucking hearing aids or CI without cost to me, than it is to treat all this extra bullshit that comes with leaving hearing loss untreated.