Hearing Loss Statistics

A substance that is poisonous to the ear, specifically the auditory nerve or cochlear nerve, is called ototoxic.

Hearing Loss Statistics

In the United States, approximately 15% of adults over the age of 18 report some difficulty hearing, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Hearing loss is the third most chronic physical condition in the United States, meaning it’s more common than diabetes or cancer. If you’ve been diagnosed with a hearing loss you may have been left feeling isolated and alone. But you’re not! Today we’re looking at some hearing loss statistics.

Hearing Loss Statistics

  • 466 million people worldwide have a disabling hearing loss, with 34 million of these being children. (source)
  • Estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss by 2050. (source)
  • Age is the strongest predictor of hearing loss among adults aged 20-69, with the greatest amount of hearing loss in the 60 to 69 age group. (source)
  • 33% of Americans between ages 65-74 and nearly 50% of those 75+ have hearing loss. (source)
  • Causes of hearing loss may include: (source)
  • Profound hearing loss over a lifetime can cost as much as $1 million per person in the U.S. (source)
  • Tinnitus affects ~10% of Americans on a regular basis. (source)
    • 25 million American adults report experiencing tinnitus for five or more continuous minutes in the past year. (source)
    • 16 million people seek medical attention for tinnitus. (source)
    • Most common cause of tinnitus is sensorineural hearing loss.

Treating Hearing Loss

Although hearing loss is common, many people will wait years before seeking treatment. It’s estimated that hearing aid users wait over 10 years after their initial diagnosis to be fit with their first set of hearing aids (Davis, Smith, Ferguson, Stephens, & Gianopoulos, 2007). Up to 28.8 million adults in the U.S could benefit from using hearing aids, the NIDCD notes.

If you’ve been living with an untreated hearing loss, the benefits to treatment can truly be life-changing. These include:

  • Improved communication. Communication with a hearing loss can be difficult, particularly if you are concerned about asking someone to repeat themselves often. Hearing aids can open up a world of communication.
  • Help your mental health. Untreated hearing loss can lead to depression and anxiety.
  • Protect your brain. A John Hopkins study found that untreated hearing loss could cause cognitive decline to speed up by as much as 30-40%. (source)
  • Untreated hearing loss leaves you twice as likely to develop dementia. (source)
  • Minimize tinnitus symptoms. Most cases of tinnitus are accompanied by a hearing loss. Certain hearing aid devices are even especially equipped to help with tinnitus symptoms.
  • Improved earning potential. The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) released a study noting: “Hearing loss was shown to negatively impact household income on-average up to $12,000 per year depending on the degree of hear­ing loss. The use of hearing instruments was shown to mitigate the [income] effects of hearing loss by 50%.” (source)

Hearing, Balance, & Speech Center is Here to Help You with all Your Listening Needs

If you suspect that you may have a hearing loss, you’re certainly not alone. Get in touch with the hearing care specialists at Hearing, Balance, & Speech Center to find out how we can help. Contact us at Hearing, Balance, & Speech Center to speak with one of our hearing professionals. We are here to take care of all your listening needs.


  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss
  2. https://www.hearingloss.org/
  3. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6515a2.htm
  5. https://www.asha.org/articles/untreated-hearing-loss-in-adults/