Happy October! It is now officially Fall and Spooky Season — with that being said, Lake Shore Audiology felt this is appropriate timing to address 10 of the most shockingly scary, but true statistics you may not know about hearing loss.
1. Approximately 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss.
2. Approximately 165 million people worldwide live with hearing loss.
3. An Estimated 50 million Americans experience tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
4. Only 1 in 5 people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one
5. An estimated 22 million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year
6. An estimated 1 in 5 American teens experiences some degree of hearing loss
7. About 2-3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears
8. Hearing Issues are the most common service-connected disability among American veterans.
9. Approximately one in three people in the United States between the ages of 65-74 has hearing loss and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.
10. About 40 million Americans aged 20-60 have noise-induced hearing loss
Conclusions from data:
Far too many people experience hearing loss
The data suggests an extremely concerning number of the population suffers from hearing loss. In just the United States alone, close to nearly 50 million individuals have problems with hearing loss. Possibly even more concerning is the fact that most people do not seek treatment for hearing loss. It’s not until the problem becomes disruptive to their everyday lives that they are then forced to deal with it.
Untreated hearing loss creates for more problems
Untreated hearing loss grows worse over time. Detecting it early and finding treatment can help avoid various other health problems from developing down the road. Health risks associated with hearing loss include the following: dementia, depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, diabetes, and more.
Hearing loss doesn’t only affect older people
Hearing loss can develop at any point in your life. Although age-related hearing loss is most common, that does not mean you are protected from hearing loss until you reach the age of 65+. The data above points out that 1 in 5 teenagers experience some degree of hearing loss. A very common cause of hearing loss within teens is listening to music through headphones at loud and unsafe levels. Volumes of 85 decibels or higher can cause hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss is common in many job industries
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) occurs when structures in the inner ear become damaged due to loud noises. This is especially common for those who work in the construction industries. OSHA calls out the importance for wearing hearing protection / headphones on site and taking frequent breaks.
In an environment like work where you will be spending extended periods of time surrounded by loud noises, it’s important your hearing stays protected. The longer your hearing goes unprotected around loud noises, the more severe your hearing loss can be. Hearing loss cannot be cured — Take action and protect yourself in loud environments.
Tinnitus and hearing loss go hand in hand
Those that experience hearing loss are likely to also experience tinnitus. Tinnitus is the medical term used for a ringing or buzzing noise in ears. It can also sound like a roaring, buzzing, hissing, whistling, etc. The experience can be described as hearing noises in your ears, but no external sound is present.
Tinnitus is very frustrating and can cause one to feel stressed out and unable to relax. Due to the irritating noise, it feels as though it will not end. Like hearing loss, there is no cure for tinnitus. However, there are ways to manage it. Some recommended solutions according to the American Tinnitus Association include: mediation, exercise, sound therapy, and wearing hearing aids.
Hearing loss affects millions of people of all ages. These “scary statistics” shed light on just how important it is to make your hearing a priority now before it is too late. If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with hearing loss, contact us at Lake Shore Audiology today. Our expert audiologists will get you the proper treatment you need. Call us today at 716-674-4188.