Beltone Blog

The Demographics of Hearing Loss

AC/DC's Hell's Bells blew out his car windows. Her first hi-fi stereo had a bass setting that made the neighbors call the police. His first portable cassette player pumped out Welcome to the Jungle at airport tarmac decibel levels. And her gentle-looking iPod (which came with an ignored warning about the dangers of high-volume audio) made her head throb to trance music which fueled her workout sets.  To put it mildly, the average 'youngster' has lived a life of noise. 

hearing demographics
Posted 06-03-2015 by Brittany Kovalcik

What might be termed "first-world hearing loss" is a growing phenomenon. Statistics from the United States Department of Health and Human Services claim that in 2015, roughly one out of eight people over the age of 12 suffered from some degree of hearing loss. In fact, approximately 15% of North American adults -- and that's a number approaching 40 million -- report some hearing trouble or hearing-related complications. Globally, at least 5% of the planet's population has some form of hearing loss according to the World Health Organization - that's over 360 million people, with at least 32 million of them children.

Some common preconceptions about hearing loss are reasonably accurate. People over the age of 65 suffer from more disabling hearing loss, and the majority of people with severe hearing difficulties live in lower income countries.

There is some good news.

All across the world people are much less likely to suffer from total hearing loss due to certain infectious diseases that have been slowly eradicated or much reduced due to better sanitation and vaccination programs. Doctors are much more skilled in detecting hearing loss at earlier stages thereby allowing for more treatment options.

And hearing aids continue to improve technologically while simultaneously becoming more affordable. For more information on choosing a hearing aid, visit our page with detailed information on more than half a dozen completely different hearing aid options, including in-the-ear, invisible, behind-the-ear, and more.

Progress has been and is being made towards reducing hearing loss, but the demographics of hearing loss in the 21st century still include all ages, nationalities, and genders. If you think you or a loved one may be beginning to experience hearing loss, take Beltone's free online hearing test.

While not a stand-in for a professional diagnosis, this simple and completely free online hearing test may help you gauge in just five minutes whether you should consider arranging a more in-depth hearing test from a professional. Hearing loss is natural. As we age, each of us will experience a reduction in the frequencies we can hear. But normal, mild hearing loss is of course different from a sudden or gradual sensation that you can no longer hear clearly.

The good news is: You're not alone! Beltone has dozens of treatment options and devices available that can help maximize your hearing quality.