Key points about adult hearing loss

  • One in every ten (28 million) Americans has a hearing loss, and as baby boomers reach retirement age , this number is expected to rapidly climb and double by the year 2030.
  • Among seniors, hearing loss is the third most prevalent health disorder behind arthritis and hypertension.
  • 33% of adults between the ages of 65 and 75 have some degree of hearing loss.
  • 50% of seniors who are 75 years or older have a hearing loss.
  • Most hearing losses occur gradually over a period of 25 to 30 years.
  • The hearing aid is the second most widely used assistive device after the walking cane.
  • While 95% of Americans with hearing loss could be successfully treated with hearing aids, only 20% currently use them.
  • 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels each day.
  • Hearing loss is greater in men.
  • 65% of people with hearing loss are below retirement age.
  • Undetected hearing loss leads to lower earnings – $122 billion in lost wages each year across the U.S. economy.
  • Only 16% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss.
  • If hearing loss is left unaided, some individuals become depressed and withdrawn from social contacts.
  • Unaided severe hearing loss may mimic the symptoms of early stages of dementia.
  • The risks of not hearing a smoke alarm, an intruder, a doctor’s advice, a vehicle horn, or other signals in everyday life could prove fatal or result in serious injury.