Quick Statistics About Hearing
- About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears.
- More than 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents.
- Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing.
- Among adults aged 20-69, the overall annual prevalence of hearing loss dropped slightly from 16 percent (28.0 million) in the 1999-2004 period to 14 percent (27.7 million) in the 2011–2012 period.
- Age is the strongest predictor of hearing loss among adults aged 20-69, with the greatest amount of hearing loss in the 60 to 69 age group.
- Men are almost twice as likely as women to have hearing loss among adults aged 20-69.
- Non-Hispanic white adults are more likely than adults in other racial/ethnic groups to have hearing loss; non-Hispanic black adults have the lowest prevalence of hearing loss among adults aged 20-69.
- About 18 percent of adults aged 20-69 have speech-frequency hearing loss in both ears from among those who report 5 or more years of exposure to very loud noise at work, as compared to 5.5 percent of adults with speech-frequency hearing loss in both ears who report no occupational noise exposure.
- One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations.
- About 2 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have disabling hearing loss. The rate increases to 8.5 percent for adults aged 55 to 64. Nearly 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of those who are 75 and older have disabling hearing loss.
- Roughly 10 percent of the U.S. adult population, or about 25 million Americans, has experienced tinnitus lasting at least five minutes in the past year.
- About 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids.
- Among adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in three (30 percent) has ever used them. Even fewer adults aged 20 to 69 (approximately 16 percent) who could benefit from wearing hearing aids have ever used them.
- As of December 2019, approximately 736,900 cochlear implants have been implanted worldwide. In the United States, roughly 118,100 devices have been implanted in adults and 65,000 in children.
- Five out of 6 children experience ear infection (otitis media) by the time they are 3 years old.
IMPACT ON SOCIETY
Hearing loss has been shown to negatively impact nearly every dimension of the human experience, including physical health, emotional and mental health, perceptions of mental acuity, social skills, family relationships, and selfesteem, as well as work and school performance.
Is Hearing Loss Affecting Your Life?
Recognizing the Signs of Hearing Loss
If you think someone you know might have a hearing loss, take a look at this list of common signs. Do any of the following sound familiar?
- They appear to hear people talk but have difficulty understanding some of the words
- They’re constantly asking people to repeat themselves
- They have a hard time understanding women and children’s voices
- They have a hard time understanding in a crowd
- It’s hard for them to understand on the phone
- They favor one ear over the other
- They complain of a ringing sensation in one or both ears
- They often appear uncomfortable in social occasions they used to enjoy
- They seem withdrawn, depressed or irritable
- Other friends or family members have noticed their difficulty hearing
- While a few “yes” answers don’t automatically indicate a hearing loss, it does suggest the need for further examination of the hearing faculty.
Take Charge of your Hearing Today
Nearly 29 million adults in the U.S. could benefit from using hearing aids. Hearing aids and cochlear implants can drastically improve an individual’s quality of life by providing them with auditory stimuli that was otherwise lost or diminished due to hearing loss. When fitted properly, both types of devices are extremely effective and can enable the person to participate fully in individual and small group conversations. This opportunity for connection can help improve feelings of loneliness and depression, as well as overall brain function.