Have you ever had a conversation with a hearing-impaired patient whom believes they do not suffer from hearing loss? They may be in denial of their condition, which is a common reaction. What they may need is a little reassurance that they’re not alone, and that life with hearing loss in today’s day and age is more manageable than ever. If you need help convincing them, you can also refer to these hearing loss facts and statistics:
- According to the Hearing Health Foundation, nearly 50 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss
- Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic condition in older Americans (65 years +), right after hypertension (high blood pressure) and arthritis.
Even more startling, the number of people worldwide with hearing loss totals more than those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes combined.
- Hearing loss is twice as common in people who already have been diagnosed with diabetes.
- There is a high degree of correlation between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease and accelerated brain tissue.
- A person who lets their hearing loss go untreated is five times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia and three times more susceptible to falling than someone who seeks help for their hearing loss.
- Proving that hearing loss knows no age boundaries, one in five U. S. teenagers has some hearing loss. Even a mild hearing loss can cause a young person to miss hearing or understanding as much as half of any classroom discussion.
: Ninety percent of infants born with a hearing deficiency have parents with normal hearing abilities.
- A Hearing Health Foundation study showed that from 2000 to 2015, the number of Americans who complained of hearing loss had doubled.
- Among adults ages 20 to 69, men are about twice as likely as women to have hearing loss.
- Non-Hispanic white adults are more likely to experience hearing loss than adults in any other racial/ethnic group; while non-Hispanic black adults have the lowest number of hearing loss instances.
- Hearing loss and tinnitus are consistently the top reported health conditions for military service members and veterans. Sixty percent of military personnel returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with hearing loss and tinnitus.
- According to the Center for Hearing and Communication, a person with hearing loss waits an average of seven years before seeking help.
- Only 16 percent of primary care physicians routinely screen their patients for signs of hearing loss.
- Among adults (70 years +) who could benefit from wearing hearing aids, only 30 percent have ever used them. With adults under the age of 69 who could benefit from wearing hearing aids, just 16 percent have ever used them.
- Hearing aids can offer dramatic improvement for most people with hearing loss.
- Hearing aids have been shown to reverse negative psychological and emotional changes and may even help offset cognitive decline due to untreated hearing loss.
- Older adults who do wear hearing aids exhibit a reduction in depression symptoms and show an improved quality of life.
Keeping these hearing loss facts and statistics in your back pocket is always good for helping people better understand and accept their condition. We recommend keeping a printout in your clinic that your patients can read and take home.