Approximately 28 million Americans have a hearing impairment.  Hearing difficulties and impairments encompass a wide range of conditions from slight hearing loss to deafness.  People who have hearing difficulties and impairments might be able to hear some sound, but might not be able to distinguish words.  Hearing loss can be difficult to diagnose in infants and babies because they haven't yet developed communication skills.  Often babies are screened before they leave the hospital to see if they have a hearing loss.  Sometimes parents may begin to notice that the baby doesn't respond to loud noises or to the sound of voices.  Therefore, hearing loss affects approximately 17 in 1,000 children under age 18.  

Here are some important statistics: 

** Hearing loss is the third leading chronic disability following arthritis and hypertension.

                         ** 60% of hearing loss is genetic.

** 1 in 31 are a carrier of the deficit gene for hearing loss.

                         **  Ten million Americans have suffered irreversible noise induced hearing loss, and 30 million more are exposed to dangerous noise levels each day.

** About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard-of-hearing. 

                         ** 9 out of every 10 children who are born deaf are born to parents who can hear.

** 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.

                        ** Only 1 out of 5 people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one.

** 12 million people in the United States have hearing aids.

                   ** Approximately 59,000 people worldwide have received cochlear implants. 

** About 250,000 people would be good candidates for a cochlear implant. 

                   ** In the United States, about 13,000 adults and nearly 10,000 children have cochlear implants.

** Hearing loss is greater in men.

                        ** Approximately 60% of the hearing impaired are over the age of 65.

** The older one becomes, the greater the incidence.


        Hearing impairment is a very prevalent problem in the United States.  This is why everyone should have education and awareness regarding the causes, problems, treatment, educational approaches, as well as the statistics of hearing impairment.  This way everyone will be able to understand and deal with the problem when it arises.