The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that one in three people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 has a hearing loss. In adults over 75, almost half have difficulty hearing. In fact, hearing loss is the third most chronic physical condition in the United States.1 You may have been left feeling isolated after a diagnosis of hearing loss. The following hearing loss statistics will show that you are not alone.
Although hearing loss is often thought of as an ailment for seniors, it can actually occur at any age. Some 466 million people have a disabling hearing loss worldwide. Of these, 34 million are children.2 As a result, even mild hearing loss can cause a child to have lower achievement in the classroom.3
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 900+ million people will have a disabling hearing loss by the year 2050.2 Here in the US, about 48 million people have hearing loss and 50 million Americans experience tinnitus.3 To help bring light to the issue, each year, the World Health Organization focuses on hearing during World Hearing Day.
The strongest predictor of hearing loss for adults 20 – 69 years old is age. The highest amount of hearing loss is in those aged 60-69.1 It’s important to look at severity of disability, when taking hearing loss statistics into account. Nearly 25% of American adults aged 65-74 and almost 50% of those aged 75+ have a disabling hearing loss.1 They are the most in need of treatment.
The Hearing Health Foundation estimates that profound hearing loss can cost $1 million per person over the course of a lifetime.4 In addition, untreated hearing loss can have a priceless impact on relationships.
Roughly 10% of Americans experience Tinnitus. Tinnitus is defined as a buzzing, ringing or similar noise that an individual can hear in the absence of a source of the sound. And 25 million Americans report experiencing tinnitus for five or more continuous minutes in the past year. Every year, 16 million people seek medical attention for tinnitus.4 Although tinnitus isn’t hearing loss, there is a strong association between the two conditions. Often, tinnitus can be helped with hearing aids – many hearing aids have special settings to mask tinnitus.
Although hearing loss is the 3rd most common chronic condition in the U.S., people hesitate to seek help. Studies have shown that hearing aid users often wait over 10 years after an initial diagnosis of hearing loss before getting hearing aids.5 The NIDCD estimates that 30 million American adults could benefit from hearing aids.1 Hearing aids are shown to be an effective treatment for most types of hearing loss.
Perhaps you are among the millions of people who experience hearing loss or tinnitus. Fortunately, most hearing loss can be treated – and there are many benefits to treating a hearing loss. From improved communication, to protecting your brain, treating hearing loss has wide-reaching implications. Across the country, the Campaign for Better Hearing’s goal is to talk about hearing loss. If you have questions, we’ll put you in contact with a hearing care provider. Get started by requesting an appointment today.
1https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing. Accessed September 18, 2019.
2 https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss. Accessed September 18, 2019.
3https://www.hearingloss.org/wp-content/uploads/HLAA_HearingLoss_Facts_Statistics.pdf?pdf=FactStats. Accessed September 18, 2019.
4hearinghealthfoundation.org/hearing-loss-tinnitus-statistics/. Accessed September 18, 2019.
5Davis, A., Smith, P., Ferguson, M., Stephens, D., & Gianopoulos, I. (2007). Acceptability, benefit and costs of early screening for hearing disability: A study of potential screening tests and models. Health Technology Assessment, 11,1–294. Cited by www.asha.org/Articles/Untreated-Hearing-Loss-in-Adults/. Accessed September 18, 2019.