Wellness

3 things you should know about hearing loss and hearing aids

woman takes a hearing test

About 20 percent of Americans, or 48 million people, have some form of hearing loss. Many don’t want to admit they have a hearing problem, so they put off getting medical advice. For some, wearing a hearing aid is a sign that they have a problem or they’re getting old. Others say they can’t afford the cost.

Here are three things to know about hearing loss and hearing aids.

1. Affects everyone – Hearing loss is the third most common health problem that Americans experience, right behind arthritis and heart disease, reports Healthy Hearing. Consider these statistics:

  • About 33% of people age 65 and older have problems hearing.
  • Over 70 million individuals age 18 and older experience hearing loss.
  • Nearly 15% of school-age kids, ages 6 to 19, have hearing loss.
  • About 2-3 of every 1,000 children are born with a hearing problem in one or both ears.
  • Nearly 30 million kids age 12 and older cannot hear well in either ear.

2. Increases depression, medical costs – Researchers discovered that people with hearing loss struggle to communicate with others. They tend to withdraw and feel isolated from daily living.

Scientists at the University of Michigan studied hearing problems of Americans over age 65. They found that when people in this group had medical problems, those with serious, untreated hearing loss usually visited the hospital or emergency room. In comparison, those with hearing aids tended to visit their doctor’s office, which is less costly, and, if they did end up in the hospital, had a shorter stay.

3. Affordable hearing solutions – Once hearing loss occurs, it cannot be recovered. Hearing experts recommend focusing on ways to enhance hearing, such as using a hearing device. Most people who could benefit from wearing hearing aids say they’re cost-prohibitive. For example, only 45 percent of adults over age 65 with serious hearing loss wear hearing aids.

As the number of Americans with hearing loss increases, there is greater emphasis on providing affordable over-the-counter hearing options, such as iHear. These devices can be ordered online, are easy to use, and cost a fraction of what traditional hearing aids cost. Learn more about the iHear program now.

Sources:
NPR
Hearing Loss Association of America
National Institute on Deafness
The Hearing Review

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