Arrows on a blackboard with the words facts and myths

How thoroughly do you know the facts about hearing loss?

We’ve discovered that our patients are nearly 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 truth, and we have to work to raise awareness.

To that end, we’ve collected ten facts that illustrate 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 – as reported by the World Health Organization, over 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 experience some amount of hearing loss.
  3. 1 in 5 teenagers has hearing losshearing loss in teens is growing with the increased use of earbuds, among other factors. Hearing loss does not discriminate by age group.
  4. 65 percent of people with hearing loss are under age 65 – the idea that hearing loss only affects older people is one of the most commonplace and inaccurate myths about hearing loss.
  5. 60 percent of veterans return home with hearing loss and tinnitus – hearing concerns are the most frequently reported injury by veterans. Hearing loss is also one of the most prevalent occupational injuries, affecting an estimated 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, impaired memory, and even an enhanced risk of developing dementia.
  7. Hearing loss increases the risk of falling – a recent study reported that people with mild hearing loss were three times more likely to have a history of falling compared to those with normal hearing. And the chances of falling increase as hearing loss becomes more severe.
  8. Hearing loss is present in 90 percent of tinnitus cases – most cases of tinnitus are associated with hearing loss, which means both ailments can oftentimes be remedied with hearing aids.
  9. Hearing loss can affect income – In a survey conducted by the Better Hearing Institute, hearing loss was shown to adversely impact household income up to an average of $12,000 per year depending on the degree of hearing loss.
  10. 28.8 million US adults could benefit from hearing aids – in spite of the fact that hearing aids could help millions of Americans, fewer than one in three actually make use of them. This despite all of the technological developments.

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

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