More than 360 million people have disabling hearing loss, according to February 2013 research released by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO). Unfortunately, a large majority of those who need hearing help fail to do so.
Here are some startling facts about hearing loss to consider:
1. Approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population – 38 million Americans – have a significant hearing loss. (Center for Hearing and Communication)
2. One in every three people over the age of 65 – a total of 165 million people worldwide – lives with hearing loss. (WHO)
3. 50 million people in the United States experience tinnitus. (American Tinnitus Association)
4. Of these, about 16 million have severe enough tinnitus to seek medical attention. About two million patients are so seriously debilitated that they cannot function on a "normal," day-to-day basis. (ATA)
5. 32 million people affected by hearing loss are children under the age of 15. (WHO)
6. People with hearing loss wait an average of seven years before seeking help. (Center for Hearing and Communication)
7. Noise is the leading cause of hearing Loss. (NY Times Personal Health Blog)
8. 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels everyday. (American-Speech-Language -Hearing Association)
9. A 12-year study conducted by the neurology department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that untreated hearing loss increased the risk for dementia.
10. Only one out of every five people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wear one. (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
How do you help raise awareness of hearing loss prevention?