How Prevalent is Hearing Loss in the US?

In Hearing Loss by Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A

Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A
Latest posts by Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A (see all)

Do you know how many Americans have hearing loss? You probably know at least one person with hearing loss, especially since two-thirds of adults over the age of 60 experience some degree of hearing loss.  Here are some facts about hearing loss in the US.

How Many Americans Have Hearing Loss?

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss can have a very negative impact on every part of your life. It can make it hard to connect with loved ones or enjoy socializing. It can take a toll on your physical and mental health as well. Hearing loss can also affect your school or work performance. 

Hearing Loss in Adults

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that around 14% of adults aged 20 to 69 have hearing loss. And over time the risk of hearing loss increases. Roughly half of adults over 75 have hearing loss!

Tinnitus is another major concern for adults and seniors. Approximately 50 million Americans have tinnitus. This ringing or buzzing sound in the ears can be a major annoyance, making it difficult to focus on tasks or fall asleep when it’s quiet at night.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

One common cause of hearing loss is exposure to very loud noise. Americans are often exposed to dangerously loud noise during work and leisure activities. In fact, more than 22 million Americans are exposed to dangerously loud noise at work. These high noise levels greatly increase the chance of developing hearing loss.

Veterans also have a higher risk of hearing loss. Over 2.7 million veterans are receiving treatment for hearing loss or other hearing issues.

Hearing Loss in Children

Adults aren’t the only ones with hearing issues. Children also suffer from hearing loss and hearing disorders. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that between 2 to 3 children per 1,000 children are born with hearing loss. Hearing loss can also develop during childhood. Ear infections are a common cause of hearing loss in kids, and around 80% of children will have at least one ear infection before they turn 3.

Hearing Loss in Teens

Teenagers also risk hearing loss. Common causes of hearing loss in teens include illness, injury, or noise exposure. In fact, in recent years teens are developing hearing loss at higher rates than ever before. This is due to unsafe listening practices. When teens listen to music or other audio with earbuds and turn the volume up too high, they can damage their hearing. Experts estimate that 12.5% of children and teens aged 6 to 19 have hearing loss from listening to loud music.

Americans Avoid Treating Hearing Loss

With these high rates of hearing loss, you’d think that people would be quick to treat their hearing loss. unfortunately, most Americans don’t treat their hearing loss right away. Most adults up wait up to 7 years before getting a hearing test and learning more about hearing aids. And even after that, only 16% to 30% of adults who need hearing aids are wearing them. 

Prioritize Your Hearing Health

If you’ve been putting off getting a hearing test, now is the time to take charge of your hearing health. Living with untreated hearing loss can affect your mental, emotional, and physical health. You’ll have a hard time following conversations and enjoying time with loved ones. You may start to feel isolated, and you’ll have a higher risk of feeling stressed, anxious, or even depressed. 

Treating Hearing Loss

Hearing aids can change all of that. Hearing devices can help you hear all the sounds you’ve been missing. They’ll help you connect with family and friends, hear at work, and focus on the sounds you want to hear.

Visit us today to find out more about your hearing aid options. You can choose from advanced programs and settings like noise reduction, speech enhancement, and feedback suppression. You can also find hearing aids with rechargeable batteries or connectivity features that will help you connect with technology in a whole new way. We’ll help you find the right devices that will help you hear during all your daily activities.