Arrows on a blackboard with the words facts and myths

How thoroughly do you know the facts about hearing loss?

We’ve found that our patients are almost always surprised to learn about hearing loss, about how universal it is and how it affects all age groups. They’re also quite surprised to learn how hearing loss can influence all areas of health.

As hearing professionals, that means we have a great deal of work to do. Certainly, the understanding of hearing loss does not match the reality, and we have to work to raise awareness.

To that end, we’ve assembled ten facts that demonstrate how serious and commonplace hearing loss is, but that the majority of people are not aware of.

Here they are:

  1. 360 million people worldwide have hearing loss – according to the World Health Organization, more than 5 percent of the world’s population (360 million) have disabling hearing loss.
  2. 48 million people in the United States have hearing loss – that’s 20 percent of all Americans, or one out of every five, that report some amount of hearing loss.
  3. 1 in 5 teens has hearing losshearing loss in teens is growing with the increased use of earbuds, among other factors. Hearing loss does not discriminate by age.
  4. 65 percent of those with hearing loss are under age 65 – the idea that hearing loss only influences old people is one of the most popular and inaccurate misconceptions about hearing loss.
  5. 60 percent of veterans return home with hearing loss and tinnitus – hearing issues are the most commonly reported injury by veterans. Hearing loss is also one of the most widespread occupational injuries, affecting approximately 22 million workers in the US.
  6. Hearing loss can trigger cognitive decline – several studies out of Johns Hopkins University have demonstrated links between hearing loss and cognitive decline, weakened memory, and even a higher risk of developing dementia.
  7. Hearing loss raises the risk of falls – a recent study reported that individuals with mild hearing loss were three times more likely to have a history of falling as compared to those with normal hearing. And the chances of falling increase as hearing loss becomes more significant.
  8. Hearing loss is present in 90 percent of tinnitus cases – most cases of tinnitus are accompanied by hearing loss, which means both conditions can potentially be treated with hearing aids.
  9. Hearing loss can affect earnings – In a survey carried out by the Better Hearing Institute, hearing loss was found to negatively impact household income up to an average of $12,000 per year depending on the intensity of hearing loss.
  10. 28.8 million US adults could benefit from hearing aids – despite the fact that hearing aids could help millions of Americans, fewer than one in three actually use them. This even with all of the technological enhancements.

Help us increase awareness about the facts of hearing loss by sharing this blog post. You could end up encouraging someone to improve their life with better hearing.