3 Surprising Facts About Hearing Loss


Did you know that hearing loss affects over 48 million Americans? This number may be surprising, but more individuals are diagnosed with some degree of hearing loss every day. Not only does the number continue to grow, but different types of hearing loss are also being discovered. If you weren’t aware of the number of Americans affected by hearing loss, then these other facts may also surprise you.

30 Million Americans Under the Age of 65 are Diagnosed With Hearing Loss

It’s safe to assume that the majority of the 48 million Americans diagnosed with hearing loss would be age 65 or older. In actuality, 62 percent are younger than 65. Let’s break down the numbers reported by Sergei Kochkin, the Executive Director of the Better Hearing Institute:

  • 1 in 6 baby boomers (ages 46-59) have a hearing problem
  • 1 in 14 Generation Xers (ages 29-40) already have hearing loss
  • At least 1.4 million children (18 or younger) have hearing problems
  • 3 out of every 1,000 infants are born with severe hearing loss

Any Sound Over 85 Decibels Can Damage Hearing

Hearing loss can come as a consequence of hearing loud sounds. Prolonged exposure to noise above 85 decibels (dB) may cause a form of permanent hearing loss. Here are a few sounds to compare:

  • Normal Conversation – 60 dB. This noise level won’t cause any damage
  • Idle Bulldozer – 85 dB. This can cause permanent damage after an 8 hour work day
  • Headphones at Maximum Volume – 100 dB or more. This is loud enough to begin causing permanent hearing damage after listening to 15 minutes of music per day
  • Rock Concert – 115 dB. This level is enough to cause damage but shouldn’t be permanent in moderation
  • Thunderclap – 120 dB. This can cause immediate damage in close vicinity
  • Gunshot – 140-190 dB. This can also cause severe immediate hearing damage

Hearing Loss is Unique

No one has the same level of hearing loss. Our ears adjust to sounds and frequencies in different ways. A high-pitched noise may affect your ears differently from someone standing right next to you. Because no one’s ears are the same, it’s essential to get your ears checked by a professional. Without proper testing, hearing aids or devices you acquire will most likely not amplify the appropriate frequencies.

Hearing loss encompasses many different factors. Having a clear understanding of hearing loss is vital to preventing it and essential when trying to start a career in audiology. Ardor Health Solutions can help you take the first step in your audiology career. Check out our job search, or call  855-GO-ARDOR to find your next audiology position!