Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic condition in the United States, affecting more than 38 million adults. It is projected by the year 2060, more than 73 million Americans will be affected. Despite the prevalence of hearing loss, only about ⅓ of people suffering from hearing loss have had their hearing tested.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, CDC, the lifetime cost of treating age-related hearing loss is about $297,000 per person. Solvere Health offers a practical solution to federal, state, and municipal health professionals who seek to expand access to audio screenings to communities with limited clinical service availability, like rural populations. For underrepresented and/or communities located in remote geographies, mobile hearing health units and pop-up hearing health clinics that offer audio screenings can close the audio health gap.
Hearing Loss Can Have Significant Consequences
In children, hearing loss can cause speech and language delays, learning problems and may lead to poor self-esteem.
Hearing loss makes it difficult to perform activities of daily living, causes communication challenges, and can lead to social isolation.
Poor Health Outcomes:
People with hearing loss are at increased risk of developing cognitive impairment, anxiety, depression, and dementia. A study of older adults aged 60 to 69 found that hearing loss is associated with decreased physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle which can lead to severe chronic health complications such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Those affected by hearing loss are more likely to have lower work productivity, lower incomes, higher unemployment rates, and higher healthcare costs than those without hearing impairment.
Individuals with hearing loss may be more prone to impaired balance, falls, and accidents resulting in increased ED visits and hospitalizations.
Audiometric testing evaluates the ability to hear sound by listening to pure tones through headphones. This testing is more sensitive than a simple hearing screening test and can detect hearing loss earlier.
Hearing loss can have a variety of causes, including noise, injury, medications, foreign bodies, age-related, and medical or congenital conditions.
Surgery, hearing aids and cochlear implants are practical options for treating hearing loss. Early detection is crucial for effective management and preventing long-term complications, underscoring the need for greater access to regular audio screenings via pop-up hearing health clinics and mobile hearing health units.
Underserved and Rural Areas
People living in rural communities are often underserved and face unique challenges due to their isolated geographic location.
Since 2010, 140 rural hospitals across the United States have shut down, making it even more challenging to access healthcare. Transportation issues, lack of insurance, cultural and language barriers are obstacles to accessing care in rural communities. Most people living in isolated areas do not have access to regular hearing screening or treatment, resulting in hearing loss going unrecognized and untreated.
There are distinct challenges to bringing audiometric screening to rural and underserved areas, including cost, provider availability, reimbursement issues, and obtaining and maintaining the proper equipment.
Solutions to Closing the Hearing Health Gap
Solvere Health offers trusted and innovative solutions for rural and underserved areas by
- Creating partnerships with local clinics, hospitals, state and local government agencies.
- Delivering a fully functioning mobile audiometric screening unit or pop-up clinic directly to rural areas lacking healthcare resources. Units arrive fully staffed with experienced certified technicians and licensed audiologists to provide high-quality on-site audiometric screening.
- Providing direction for educational campaigns to engage and educate community members about the value of hearing screening.
Early detection of hearing loss can prevent long-term and costly adverse outcomes and increase the quality of life for those affected. Contact us today to hear how Solvere Health can partner with your organization to develop a strategic and actionable hearing health program.