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Hearing Loss and Hearing Aid Use: Text Version

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About 1 in 6 U.S. adults ages 18 and over reports some trouble hearing = 37.5 million U.S. adults.

28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids.

Only 1 in 4 U.S. adults ages 20 and over who could benefit from hearing aids has used them.

  • About 1 in 6 adults (16%) ages 20 to 69.
  • About 1 in 3 adults (30%) ages 70+.


NIDCD Epidemiology and Statistics Program, based on December 2015 Census Bureau estimates of the noninstitutionalized U.S. population, personal communication; May 2016.

Blackwell, D.L., Lucas, J.W., Clarke T.C. (2014). Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2012. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 10(260). Retrieved May 31, 2016, from (PDF - 3.5 MB).

Based on calculations by NIDCD Epidemiology and Statistics Program staff using data collected by (1) the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) annually for number of persons who have ever used a hearing aid [numerator], and (2) periodic NHANES hearing exams for representative samples of the U.S. adult and older adult population [denominator]; these statistics are also used for tracking Healthy People 2010 and 2020 objectives.

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