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Quick Statistics

Compiled by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).

  • About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears.1
  • Roughly 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.2
  • Men are more likely to experience hearing loss than women.
  • Of adults ages 65 and older in the United States, 12.3 percent of men and nearly 14 percent of women are affected by tinnitus. Tinnitus is identified more frequently in white individuals and the prevalence of tinnitus is almost twice as frequent in the South as in the Northeast.
  • Approximately 17 percent (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss.
  • There is a strong relationship between age and reported hearing loss: 18 percent of American adults 45-64 years old, 30 percent of adults 65-74 years old, and 47 percent of adults 75 years old or older have a hearing loss.
  • The NIDCD estimates that approximately 15 percent (26 million) of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds or noise at work or in leisure activities.
  • Only 1 out of 5 people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one.
  • Three out of 4 children experience ear infection (otitis media) by the time they are 3 years old.
  • Approximately 188,000 people worldwide have received cochlear implants. In the United States, roughly 41,500 adults and 25,500 children have received them.
  • Approximately 4,000 new cases of sudden deafness occur each year in the United States. Hearing loss affects only 1 ear in 9 out of 10 people who experience sudden deafness. Only 10 to 15 percent of patients with sudden deafness know what caused their loss.
  • Approximately 615,000 individuals have been diagnosed with Ménière's disease in the United States. Another 45,500 are newly diagnosed each year.
  • Approximately 3 to 6 percent of all deaf children and perhaps another 3 to 6 percent of hard-of-hearing children have Usher syndrome. In developed countries such as the United States, about 4 babies in every 100,000 births have Usher syndrome.
  • One out of every 100,000 individuals per year develops an acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma).

Sources

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Identifying infants with hearing loss - United States, 1999-2007. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 59(8): 220-223.

    Vohr B. Overview: infants and children with hearing loss—part I. Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2003;9:62–64.
  2. Based on calculations performed by NIDCD Epidemiology and Statistics Program staff: (1) tinnitus prevalence was obtained from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS); (2) the estimated number of American adults reporting tinnitus was calculated by multiplying the prevalence of tinnitus by the 2013 U.S. Census population estimate for the number of adults (18+ years of age).

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