Hearing loss affects nearly 50 million Americans. This includes 1 in 5 teenagers and 60% of returning veterans from foreign wars. It is a pervasive problem, but one that is not always taken very seriously. It is often viewed as a normal part of aging, or someone else’s problem — this person mumbles or that restaurant has gotten too loud. Often, it is ignored for years due to stigma or denial, or just plain refusal to acknowledge a problem. For many, it seems easier to simply ignore it and withdraw than to take action to treat the hearing loss and continue with one’s lively and fulfilling life.
But recent studies indicate hearing loss cannot be ignored. It is associated with many deadly diseases, depression, a higher risk of falls, and even dementia. My advice – know the facts and get treatment.
Not Just For The Old
- According to the World Health Organization, 360 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss.
- There are 48 million people in the US with loss, yet only 2 million consider themselves Deaf, using sign language as their primary mode of communication.
- One in 5 teenagers has hearing loss. This study was published in 2010, so the numbers are probably higher today.
- 60% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan come home with hearing problems and tinnitus.
- According to the Better Hearing Institute, 65% are below age 65.
- About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of deficit in one or both ears.
- On average, it takes 7 to 10 years before someone seeks treatment.
Hearing And Other Health Problems
- Hearing loss is associated with a higher risk of falls. People with a mild loss are nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. Each additional 10-decibels of loss increases the chances of falling by 1.4 times.
- It is twice as common in people with diabetes. Among people with pre-diabetes, the rate of hearing loss is 30 percent higher than in those with normal blood glucose levels.
- Those with even mild loss are twice as likely to develop dementia and this likelihood increases with higher degrees of hearing loss.
- Hearing loss is linked to accelerated brain tissue loss.
- There is a high correlation between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease.
- About 10 percent of the U.S. adult population, or about 25 million Americans, has experienced tinnitus lasting at least five minutes in the past year. Hearing loss occurs in 90% of tinnitus cases.
Call Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ today at 772-286-4327 and schedule your FREE comprehensive hearing evaluation with our Board Certified Hearing Aid Specialist.