Hearing loss is a major issue in the U.S. and across the world. Many people, however, never even bother to get their hearing checked as part of their regular medical routine. Just as it’s important to keep up with your dental, vision and physical health, it’s vital to get your ears checked regularly. As leading audiologists, the doctors at Hearing and Balance Center want you to know these important facts about hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Facts and Stats
- Hearing loss is a very common condition. An estimated 36 million Americans have hearing loss. The World Health Organization estimates that about 360 million people worldwide have disabling hearing impairments.
- Hearing loss is a growing epidemic. The number of people in the U.S. with hearing loss has doubled in the past 30 years and is expected to continue to rise. This is mostly due to the increase in the popularity and availability of headphones and earbuds as well as the widespread use of loud machinery in the manufacturing sector.
- A majority of people with hearing loss never seeks treatment. Only 1 in 5 people with hearing loss visit an audiologist and treat their condition. Hearing aids are the most common and effective method of treatment for most people.
- Hearing loss doesn’t just affect older people. While 33 percent of people over 65 have hearing loss, the condition also affects 15 percent of all people 41–59 and 7 percent of all people 29–40 in the U.S.
- Noise-induced hearing loss is the number one cause of hearing impairments in the U.S. In fact, 25 percent of all hearing loss is caused by exposure to loud noise.
- The impacts of hearing loss spread far beyond just not being able to understand when someone is talking. Hearing loss can impact your relationships as well as both your mental and physical health. Hearing loss has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety, dementia, obesity and poor health.