When someone first finds out that they have a hearing loss, they often try to keep their diagnosis a secret from friends and colleagues.
For a multitude of reasons, hearing loss isn’t one of those things that people feel able to talk about openly with others – unlike changes to their eyesight, for example.
But recent data reported by Healthy Hearing website showed that hearing loss is actually the third most common physical condition in the US, with only arthritis and heart disease above it.
So, this felt like a great opportunity to examine the numbers and discuss why some people feel wary about disclosing their condition.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of people with a hearing loss in the US stands at around 38.2 million. That’s roughly 12 percent of the population.
The largest quantity of those with a hearing loss are above 50, with 91 percent of those with a condition in this age group.
To break it down even further, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has demonstrated that a third of those between 65 and 74 have a hearing loss. In contrast, half of those above 75 have trouble understanding sounds.
That being said, hearing loss is also rising among younger people.
A study that the University of Manchester conducted this year found that a high number of students who attended music concerts and other loud events had the early signs of a condition.
Besides this, roughly two to three children per thousand each year are born with a hearing loss in America, with most of these detected during routine screenings.
Past perceptions of hearing loss
While hearing loss is widespread, people often still feel a sense of stigma around conditions.
The genesis of this usually results from their memories of those who had a hearing loss in the 1960s and 1970s and struggled with their condition.
Back then, access to treatments was limited, and often people believed there were few solutions available that could assist them.
These days, there is far more information available about the reasons why people experience hearing loss and how important it is to speak to a specialist as soon as you witness symptoms.
That’s part of why celebrities, including Whoopi Goldberg, Rob Lowe, Stephen Colbert, and Huey Lewis, have come forward to discuss their experiences with hearing loss.
And it’s crucial that as many people as possible share their experience, letting others know the incredible opportunities that hearing care can offer.
Technology that makes a difference
On the subject of technology, there have been major developments in devices’ size and responsiveness over the last twenty years.
These extraordinary instruments are now sleek, discreet, and comprise of highly sophisticated features, giving you almost limitless potential.
If you want to stream phone calls straight to your hearing aids or personalize your experience for a busy restaurant, for example, you can find devices with these capabilities.
And even better, the price you can expect to pay for all of this has dropped significantly, with many insurers providing coverage for part or all of this investment.
There’s never been a better time to discuss your concern with your doctor of audiology. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (818) 727-7020 for an in-person appointment or a Tele Audiology consultation.