According to a recent study by The JAMA Network, there is a considerable gap in the U.S. between experiencing the symptoms of hearing loss and receiving treatment. The study found that among the 40 million adults who reported hearing difficulties, nearly a third of those people did not see a specialist for their hearing loss.
The study found the following:
- 16.8 percent of adults reported their hearing was less than “excellent/good,” ranging from “a little trouble hearing” to “deaf.”
- Nearly 1/3 of adults with less than “excellent/good” hearing had never seen a clinician for hearing problems and 28 percent had never had their hearing tested.
- 7.3 million people (3.1 percent of the U.S. population) were estimated to use hearing aids.
- Men were more likely than women to report hearing trouble.
The JAVA study ultimately concluded that many people who reported hearing loss are not evaluated or treated for their hearing by a professional. Improved awareness about referrals to hearing care specialists, along with treatment options, may improve care for those with hearing loss.
With hearing loss being so prevalent, we recommend taking a few easy steps to protect your hearing.
- Wear earplugs when you will be around loud noises for more than 10 minutes. Examples would be a concert, mowing the lawn, running a snow blower or using power tools.
- If you wear headphones, keep volume to a minimal level. If you can’t hear what is happening around you while wearing them, they are likely too loud.
- You can take a simple 2-minute hearing quiz by clicking here
- Schedule an annual hearing exam by a certified hearing healthcare professional. You can find one in your area by clicking here.
Hearing loss is extremely common in the U.S. The first step to reducing the numbers affected is education about steps to prevent hearing loss. If you are concerned about your hearing or would like to discuss ways to improve your hearing, contact a local hearing health clinic to schedule an appointment.
SOURCE: JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery