Last month, our corresponding members The Ear Foundation with EURO-CIU support, prepared a conference in Brussels called "Adult Hearing Loss: Europe's growing challenge". This conference was a platform to launch their last report "Spent to Save" which you can find at the end of this article.
"The evidence is now clear that the cost of NOT providing hearing technologies has been shown to be greater than the cost of providing them."
After the success of neonatal screening, now the fight is to achieve adult hearing screening.
All speakers reached the same conclusion and reinforced the report: the cost effectiveness of the latest technologies is now proven. It therefore recommends that funding schemes should include the full cost of hearing aids and cochlear implants, as well as the introduction of National Adult Hearing Screening Programmes, as this would ultimately save money overall for health, social care and welfare systems.
- Older people with hearing loss are two and half times more likely to experience depression than those without hearing loss (Mathews2013) and are also at increased risk of major depression (Davis 2011)
- Social isolation has an effect on health (Cohen 1995) and in older people there is a strong correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline (Lin 2013), mental illness and dementia (Lin 2011) and premature death (Friburg 2014, Contrera 2015)
It therefore recommends that funding schemes should include the full cost of hearing aids and cochlear implants, as this would ultimately save money overall for health, social care and welfare systems.