Hearing Health Foundation

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A CDC study that followed school-aged children identified with hearing loss into young adulthood (21-25 years old) found:

  • About 40% of young adults with hearing loss identified during childhood reported experiencing at least one limitation in daily functioning. [Read summary]
  • About 71% of young adults with hearing loss without other related conditions (such as intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or vision loss) were employed. [Read summary]

Economic Cost

  • During the 1999-2000 school year, the total cost in the United States for special education programs for children who were deaf or hard of hearing was $652 million, or $11,006 per child. [Read report]
  • The lifetime educational cost of hearing loss (more than 40 dB permanent loss without other disabilities) has been estimated at $134,771.89 per child (adjusted for 2016 inflation).
  • It is expected that the lifetime costs for all people with hearing loss who were born in 2000 will total $2.76 billion (adjusted for 2015 inflation). [Read article]
    • Direct medical costs, such as doctor visits, prescription drugs, and inpatient hospital stays, will make up 6% of these costs.
    • Direct nonmedical expenses, such as home modifications and special education, will make up 30% of these costs.
    • Indirect costs, which include the value of lost wages when a person cannot work or is limited in the amount or type of work he or she can do, will make up 63% of the costs.

      Note: These estimates do not include other expenses, such as hospital outpatient visits, sign language interpreters, and family out-of-pocket expenses. As a result, the actual economic costs of hearing loss are higher than what is reported here.

Sources: CDC; Grosse SD. “Education Cost Savings From Early Detection of Hearing Loss: New Findings.” Volta Voices 2007;14(6):38-40.