ABOUT HEARING LOSS
What is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is the third most common medical condition in the United States, after arthritis and heart disease. Hearing loss may occur to anyone, at any age, and ranges from degrees of mild to profound.
For older Americans, presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) is a fairly common experience. Changes happen naturally in the inner ear as we age, and while this process is gradual over the years, it may lead to changes in a person’s personality and cognitive abilities.
Prevalence of Hearing Loss
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), about 20% of Americans – 48 million people – report some degree of hearing loss. The statistics rise with age: approximately one-third of Americans age 65 and 50% of Americans age 75 and older experience hearing loss.
In the workforce, approximately 60% of workers experience hearing loss across a wide range of industries from academics to factory work. In children, two or three of every 1,000 are hard of hearing or deaf, while approximately 30 school children per 1,000 have a hearing loss. Additionally, 60% of veterans returning from combat zones report cases of hearing loss and tinnitus.
report some degree
of hearing loss.
of Americans age 75+
experience hearing loss
Signs of Hearing Loss
Because hearing loss is an invisible condition, we only see its effects. Below are the signs of hearing loss, adapted from the HLAA. People experiencing hearing loss will:
- Ask people to repeat what they say
- Have trouble hearing in groups
- Think others mumble
- Fail to hear someone talking from behind
- Turn up the volume on TV and car radio
- Have difficulty on the phone
- Have trouble hearing the alarm clock
- Have difficulty hearing at the movies
- Avoid noisy parties and restaurants
- Withdraw from social situations