Hearing Loss: How common is it for adults?

Hearing Loss: How common is it for adults?

Chances are likely that either you or somebody you know has been impacted by hearing loss at some point in their life. Hearing loss is a condition that does not discriminate based on age, sex, or socioeconomic factors and can happen to anybody. Despite this, there are several factors that can make hearing loss more likely to occur. How common are they?

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one-in-three adults over the age of 65 have hearing loss. As age increases, so does the rate of hearing loss. According to the American Family Physician journal, this rate can increase up to 80% of individuals over the age of 85 experiencing some measureable hearing loss. Even a moderate hearing loss can be disabling as it prevents access to important speech cues. The percentage of people over the age of 75 with a disabling hearing loss is around 50%.

Tinnitus is another common condition affecting approximately 20% of all Americans, regardless of age. About 90% of tinnitus sufferers also experience measureable hearing loss. When we add up all these numbers, that leaves a staggeringly large group of individuals. Despite the large group size, only 30% of people who could benefit from amplification actually do so. Studies have also shown that hearing aid use can extend lifespan by improving quality of life, and decreasing rates of depression and even falls due to balance improvement. According to the Hearing Health Foundation, even a mild untreated hearing loss will leave an individual twice as likely to develop dementia.

Unfortunately our national rate of hearing loss is actually increasing, rather than decreasing, due to people living longer lives, and the fact that around 30 million Americans work in work places with damaging levels of noise present. Age and noise exposure are the leading causes of hearing loss for adults. Men are more likely than women to experience hearing loss. Are you in one of these groups? If so, it is recommended that hearing screenings begin around age 50. A simple baseline test can let you know if you are at higher risk for hearing loss. Call our offices today to schedule a free baseline test!