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 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 untreated profound hearing loss can be as much as $1 million per person in the U.S.