Part 3 – Helpful Information on Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is more common than you might think. In fact for every person who might be legally classified as deaf, there are many more who are burdened by hearing impairment. Nor is this only a problem for people over 50. Increasingly, due to recreational and environmental noise, hearing loss is occurring at younger and younger ages.
Consider these facts: 28 million Americans are hearing impaired, and an estimated 500 million experience hearing loss, worldwide.
In the U.S., one out of twelve people who are 30-years-old are already hearing-impaired and one in eight people who are 50-years-old now suffer from hearing loss to some degree.
The social stigma of "aging" has prevented proper treatment for many sufferers. Interestingly, after President Bill Clinton was fitted for a hearing aid, there was a significant increase of more than 1 million other baby boomers who identified themselves as experiencing hearing loss.
Current estimates are that there are more baby boomers (aged 45-64) with a hearing loss (approximately 10 million people) than there are hearing impaired persons in the age group of 65 and older (approximately 9 million).
More than a third of all hearing loss is attributed to noise: loud music, loud workplaces, loud recreational equipment. (Note AudioLink currently offers a number of headphones that are especially made to reduce environmental noise.)
Of the 10 million Americans aged 45 to 64 who are estimated to have a hearing loss, 6 out of 7 do not yet benefit from any Assistive Listening Devices.
Hearing loss facts
Hearing loss is second only to arthritis as the most common complaint of older adults (persons over 50 years old).
Only about 10% of hearing loss can be helped by surgery or other medical treatment.
Almost 90% of all hearing losses can be ameliorated with Assistive Listening Devices.
Only 16% of U.S. physicians routinely screen for hearing loss.
On average, exposure to noise above 80-90 decibels over an 8-hour workday is considered hazardous.
Firearms, music, airplanes, lawnmowers, power tools and many appliances are louder than 80 decibels and prolonged exposure is potentially hazardous to hearing.
A live rock concert produces sounds from 110 to 120 decibels-easily high enough to cause damage to hearing if prolonged.
What can you do if you have a hearing loss?
Clearly, AudioLinks.com offers a number of technology based solutions to the hearing impaired (see our catalog offerings on ADA Compliant Devices), but there are many other non-technological options for gaining some relief. For example, the US government offers a special website to assist the hearing impaired who live in regions that experience violent weather such as tornados and hurricanes.