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 virtually always surprised to learn about hearing loss, about how widespread it is and how it affects all age groups. They’re also quite surprised to learn how hearing loss can have an impact on all aspects of health.

As hearing professionals, that implies we have a lot of work to do. Obviously, the understanding of hearing loss does not match the reality, and we have to work to raise awareness.

To that end, we’ve put together ten facts that show how serious and commonplace hearing loss is, but that most 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 US have hearing loss – that’s 20 percent of all Americans, or one out of every five, that report some degree of hearing loss.
  3. 1 in 5 teens has hearing losshearing loss in teens is increasing 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 belief that hearing loss only impacts old people is one of the most widespread and erroneous misconceptions about hearing loss.
  5. 60 percent of veterans return home with hearing loss and tinnitus – hearing concerns are the most commonly reported injury by veterans. Hearing loss is also one of the most common work-related injuries, affecting approximately 22 million workers in the US.
  6. Hearing loss can result in cognitive decline – several studies out of Johns Hopkins University have demonstrated links between hearing loss and cognitive decline, impaired memory, and even an increased risk of developing dementia.
  7. Hearing loss raises the risk of falling – a recent study reported that individuals 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 occurs in 90 percent of tinnitus cases – most cases of tinnitus are accompanied by hearing loss, which means both conditions can oftentimes be managed with hearing aids.
  9. Hearing loss can impact income – 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 degree 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 make use of them. This even with all of the technological enhancements.

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