People are often surprised how common hearing loss is — 360 million people worldwide which includes almost 50 million in the United States alone. Hearing loss is not only for the old, but now impacts 1 in 5 teenagers and 60% of returning soldiers. It is associated with dangerous health conditions such as dementia, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Hearing loss is a tremendous and growing health crisis. Be sure you know the facts so you can help educate others.
Hearing Loss Prevalence Is Growing
- According to the World Health Organization, 360 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss.
- There are 48 million people in the US with hearing loss, yet only 2 million consider themselves Deaf, using sign language as their primary mode of communication.
- One in 5 teenagers has hearing loss. This study was published in 2010, so the numbers are probably higher today.
- 60% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan come home with hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss and tinnitus are the #1 and #2 most prevalent war wounds.
- According to the Better Hearing Institute, 65% of people with hearing loss are below age 65.
- About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears.
- On average, it takes seven to 10 years before someone with hearing loss seeks treatment for it.
Hearing Loss Is Linked To Many Health Problems
- Hearing loss is associated with a higher risk of falls. People with a mild hearing loss are nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. Each additional 10-decibels of loss increases the chances of falling by 1.4 times.
- Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes. Among people with pre-diabetes, the rate of hearing loss is 30 percent higher than in those with normal blood glucose levels.
- Those with even mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia and this likelihood increases with higher degrees of hearing loss.
- Hearing loss is linked to accelerated brain tissue loss.
- There is a high correlation between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease.
- Roughly 10 percent of the U.S. adult population, or about 25 million Americans, has experienced tinnitus lasting at least five minutes in the past year. Hearing loss occurs in 90% of tinnitus cases.
Want more hearing loss facts? Check out these helpful links.
- Quick Statistics – National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
- Basic Facts About Hearing Loss – Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
- Facts About Hearing Loss – Center For Hearing & Communication
- Hearing Loss & Tinnitus Statistics – Hearing Health Foundation
- Prevalence of Hearing Loss – Better Hearing Institute
- Prevalence and Incidence of Hearing Loss in Children – American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
- Self-Reported Hearing Trouble in Adults Aged 18 and Over – Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Hearing Loss Stats for the UK – Action on Hearing Loss
Readers, do you know your hearing loss facts?
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14 thoughts on “Do You Know Your Hearing Loss Facts?”
Thanks Shari! your list of stats is going on my refrigerator door to help in permanent installation in my head!
I’ve never seen statistics of percentage of people by degree of hearing loss. For example what percentage have mild versus severe versus profound. Does anyone compile the numbers that way?
Good question. I have not seen that but I will take a look. Thanks for the idea.
What about those who have an audio processing disorder from birth? I was told I wouldn’t get dementia because our brain is wired differently. Is it true or a myth? I had an IQ test when I was 50 years old and it was still above average.
My understanding is that the dementia risk is only higher for untreated hearing loss so if you are doing something about it (using hearing aids, etc.), the risk is reduced. Hope that helps. Thanks for the question.
Reblogged this on One Woman's Choice and commented:
I can attest to the frequent falling. I had fallen about three times in 2013, one very serious fall causing a broken toe and a rib contusion, which is very painful that took over a month to heal. Another time, I fell face first grazing my chin on the concrete sidewalk. I did some research and learned that having hearing loss can cause a person to become unbalanced. I have fallen a few times since then or almost fallen but have been able to catch myself but I have learned to slow down and watch my steps more closely.
There are exercises you can do that will help with balance. I would talk to my doctor and ask for a prescription for physical therapy. It really helps a lot but you must keep it up afterwards.
Good advice. Thanks for sharing.
I am sorry to hear that but glad you are being more careful now. We all need to be. Thanks for sharing your experiences.