We’ve covered the latest hearing loss statistics in observance of National Better Hearing & Speech Month.
May is National Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM), which raises awareness about hearing health and communication issues such as hearing loss. Hearing loss is much more common and prevalent than many people may realize, which is why it’s so important to help spread awareness.
One important step in raising awareness is understanding just how widespread hearing loss is. People with hearing loss often feel isolated, but the reality is they are not alone. Acknowledging the prevalence of hearing loss nationwide can help individuals recognize others with shared experiences and become more open to resources such as audiologists and support groups.
In observance of Better Hearing and Speech Month, here are five hearing loss statistics you need to know:
- Nearly 50 million Americans experience hearing loss
- 10% of adults have experienced tinnitus in the last year
- Adult men are about twice as likely as adult women to have hearing loss
- 1 out of 3 adults over age 65 have some level of hearing loss
- People who experience hearing loss wait an average of 7 years before seeking help
To learn more about these important statistics and what you can do about hearing loss, keep reading!
Nearly 50 million Americans experience hearing loss
Hearing loss is much more prevalent than many people think. In America alone, almost 50 million people have hearing loss to some degree. And hearing loss isn’t just an issue experienced by older people, as some people may assume — 1 in 5 teenagers experience hearing loss to some degree, and 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 12 have hearing loss in both ears.
10% of adults have experienced tinnitus in the last year
Tinnitus is a condition where you experience ringing or buzzing in your ears. It’s also very common; about 10% of American adults, or 25 million people, have experienced it in the last year alone. Tinnitus is also frequently associated with hearing loss. If you experience a ringing, even if it’s brief or comes and goes, it’s something you should tell your audiologist.
Adult men are about twice as likely as adult women to have hearing loss
Among adults aged 20-69, men are more likely than women to experience hearing loss. One factor for this difference is that men are historically more likely to work in jobs that can cause noise-induced hearing loss, such as construction or factory work.
1 out of 3 adults over age 65 have some hearing loss
While hearing loss can occur across all age groups, it’s more prevalent in older adults. One of every three adults over 65 experiences some degree of hearing loss. For adults over 75, two out of three have some degree of hearing loss.
People who experience hearing loss wait an average of 7 years before seeking help
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), once people begin to notice their hearing loss, they often wait a long time before seeking help — an average of 7 years. If you’re experiencing the signs of hearing loss, don’t wait. Talk to your doctor or make an appointment to speak with an audiologist to understand the options you have available for prevention of further hearing loss, and hearing aids or assistive listening devices.
Better Hearing and Speech Month aims to spread awareness of communication concerns and encourages people to take care of their hearing health all year round. To find out more about hearing loss and how you can protect your hearing health, keep reading the CapTel blog!