Far too frequently, we hear people assert that hearing loss only applies to “old people,” that it’s just a natural part of getting old, or that it’s generally an uncommon condition.
These claims couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here are statistics you should know about:
Prevalence of hearing loss in the US
Hearing loss, to some amount, impacts 20 percent of all Americans, or 48 million people, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. If everyone with hearing loss in the US resided in the same state, its population would be larger than the whole state of California by 10 million individuals.
1 out of every 5 people in the US has some form of hearing loss, even if that hearing loss is undiagnosed and untreated. So, the odds that you know someone with hearing loss or suffer from hearing loss yourself is, regrettably, relatively high.
Additionally, from 2000 to 2015, the number of Americans with hearing loss has doubled, and around the world the number is up by 44 percent. This makes hearing loss the second most common health disorder around the world. This truth is, those living with hearing loss exceed in number those living with Parkinson’s, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes combined.
Hearing loss by age group
Although 1 out of 5 people in the US has some level of hearing loss, we’re still only referring to older people, right?
This is a popular myth, but the response is an unmistakable no.
According to the Better Hearing Institute, of the 48 million Americans with hearing loss, only about 35 percent are over the age of 65. More than 30 million Americans under the age of 65 suffer from hearing loss. Of those:
- 1 in 6 baby boomers (ages 41-59) have some form of hearing loss.
- 1 in 14 Generation Xers (ages 29-40) already have hearing loss.
- 1.4 million children (18 or younger) have hearing difficulty.
- 2-3 out of 1,000 infants are born with a detectable amount of hearing loss in one or both ears.
Although hearing loss is prevalent spanning all age brackets, the extent of hearing loss does tend to increase with age. Whereas only around 2 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have debilitating hearing loss, the rate grows to 8.5 percent for adults aged 55 to 64, around 25 percent for adults aged 65 to 74, and about 50 percent for adults aged 75 and older.
The causes of hearing loss
Hearing loss is remarkably common (both in the US and around the world), impacts all age groups, and has grown to be more widespread over time. What’s the cause behind all of this?
There are several causes, but the two main causes of hearing loss are exposure to loud sound and the aging process.
Concerning sound exposure, the NIDCD estimates that around 15 percent of Americans (26 million people) between the ages of 20 and 69 are suffering from hearing loss as a consequence of exposure to loud sounds at work or during leisure activities.
The World Health Organization has also reported that 1.1 billion teens and young adults across the world are at an increased risk of developing hearing loss from the use of personal music players played at extreme volumes.
In regard to aging, the population of those aged 65 years and older is expanding, and hearing loss is more common among this group.
Do hearing aids help?
The prime defense against hearing loss is protecting your ears. Keeping away from loud noise, maximizing your distance between the sources of loud noise, and using custom made ear protection are three strategies that can spare your hearing.
But what happens if you currently suffer from hearing loss?
Fortunately, due to the breakthroughs in technology and hearing healthcare, virtually all cases of hearing loss can be treated. And contrary to the hearing aids of 10-15 years ago, today’s hearing aids have proven to be effective.
A recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that hearing aids (three popular models examined) are in fact generally effective, concluding that “each [hearing aid] circuit provided significant benefit in quiet and noisy listening situations.”
Patients have also observed the benefits: The National Center for Biotechnology Information, after evaluating many years of research, concluded that “studies have shown that users are quite satisfied with their hearing aids.”
Likewise, a recent MarkeTrak consumer satisfaction survey found that, for people with hearing aids four years of age or less, 78.6% were satisfied with their hearing aid performance.
The data speak for themselves, and your chances of developing hearing loss are regretfully quite high. But the numbers also demonstrate that, even in the event that you currently have hearing loss, the chances that you’ll benefit from wearing hearing aids is very high
Whether you require customized ear protection to prevent hearing loss or a new pair of hearing aids to amplify the hearing you’ve already lost, we can help. We have experience with all types of hearing loss and can help find the ideal treatment for you.