Know these Hearing Loss Facts for World Hearing Day and prevent unwanted health concerns, varying from social, cognitive and psychosocial ailments.

About 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. Hearing loss in adults can be strongly predicted by age, but also by gender, and by ethnicity. Hearing loss is not only predicted by genetic makeup. Noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss therefore situational events can also lead to hearing loss.

The Demographics

Age isn’t the only predictor

  • Among adults aged 20-69 , non-Hispanic white adults are more likely than adults in other racial/ethnic groups to have hearing loss; non-Hispanic black adults have the lowest prevalence of hearing loss
  • 15% of children between the ages of 6-19 have a measurable hearing loss in at least one ear
  • Approximately 3 million children in the U.S. have some type of hearing loss; 1.3 million of them are under the age of three
  • Mild hearing loss can cause a child to miss as much as 50% of class discussion
  •  Exposure to high noise levels for just 15 minutes a day overtime can cause permanent damage to hearing
  • Hearing loss and tinnitus are the 1st and 2nd most prevalent war wounds.
  • 60% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan come home with hearing loss and tinnitus

Seeking Treatment facts

  • Approximately 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids.
  • Only 16% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss
  • Among 15 million people with hearing loss avoid seeking help
  • Treatment is only sought by 20% of people who could benefit from it
  • People with hearing loss wait an average of 7 years before seeking help

Hearing loss can often be a difficult subject to discuss, but it is not a condition to be ignored.  Acknowledgement of hearing loss and seeking treatment can potentially prevent unwanted health concerns, varying from social, cognitive and psychosocial ailments. The difference in quality of life of someone who lives with untreated hearing loss is astonishing compared to life of someone who has hearing assistive technology.

Consequences of prolonged hearing loss:

  • Those with hearing loss are at a higher risk of falls. Even with a mild hearing loss, these people are three times more likely to have a history of falling.
  • Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes
  • Those with mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia and this likelihood increases with the higher degrees of hearing loss
  • Tinnitus (ringing in ears) affects 50 million people in the United States, yet people are unfamiliar with Tinnitus. Hearing loss occurs in 90% of tinnitus cases.
  • Hearing loss is linked to accelerated brain tissue loss and cardiovascular disease

Individual’s experiences, personal and professional lives have proven to be negatively affected by prolonged hearing loss. Not only does an individual suffer but so do one’s significant other and loved ones.

A few steps to treating hearing loss and preventing additional problems include:

  1. One must recognize and accept hearing loss
  2. Schedule a hearing test and consultation with one of our Optimal Hearing specialists.
  3. Discuss the hearing aid or any hearing assistive option best for you
  4. Include a significant other or loved ones on the education and rehabilitation process to learn how to live well with hearing loss.

Take your first step towards making your life sound better and schedule your appointment.

More resources for facts and statistics on hearing loss: