A Public Health Epidemic - The Statistics Show a Troubling Trend

From 2000 to 2015, the number of Americans with hearing loss has doubled. 
Globally the number is up by 44%.

  • 48 million people in the America and ~360 million worldwide
    • 1 in 5 teens
    • 1 in 5 adults
    • 3 in 5 of returning military service members
      • Hearing loss and tinnitus are the top two reported health concerns among service members both active and veterans.
  • Hearing loss is the 2nd most prevalent health issue globally
    • The number of people with hearing loss is more than those living with Parkinson’s, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes combined.
  • Tinnitus (ringing/buzzing in ears) affects ~10% of Americans on a regular basis
    • 25 million American adults report experiencing tinnitus for five or more continuous minutes in the past year
    • 16 million people seek medical attention for tinnitus
    • Roughly 90 percent of tinnitus cases occur with an underlying hearing loss
  • Causes of Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
    • Genetic factors
    • Noise
    • Trauma
    • Ototoxic medications (medicine-induced hearing loss)
    • Viral or bacterial infections
    • Aging

Why is the number of people with hearing loss increasing?

1. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

People are exposed to dangerous noise levels at work or during leisure activities

  • 26 million people in U.S. between ages 20-69 have hearing loss
  • 20% of teens ages 12-19 have reported hearing loss due to loud noise
  • 30 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels

2. Age-Related Hearing Loss

The population of people age 65+ is expanding… rapidly

  • 33% of Americans between ages 65-74 and nearly 50% of those 75+ have hearing loss
  • Hearing loss has been associated with cognitive decline, dementia, depression, hospitalization, and heart disease, among other diseases and conditions

3. Economic Impact Associated With Hearing Loss

  • Lifetime costs of profound hearing loss can be as much as $1 million per person in the U.S.

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