Around 15% of adults in the US have some degree of hearing loss. This means that hearing damage affects roughly 37.5 million people across the country.
There are some differences between the rates of hearing loss in men and in women. Older people are much likelier to be affected. But anyone can lose their hearing.
However, there is some good news about this statistic. Research indicates that the rates of hearing loss seem to be dropping.
Promising New Data
A new study shows that the rates of hearing loss are lower than they were in previous decades.
The researchers focused on adults aged 20 to 69. They compared statistics from the period of 1999-2004 with statistics from 1959-1962. People these days are less likely to suffer from hearing damage.
But it’s important to keep in mind that the data covered people younger than seventy years old. Thus, it is likely that age-related hearing loss starts happening later in life.
Scientists aren’t sure yet about the reasons for this change. But some potential reasons include:
Less Noise-Related Damage
In many cases, noise-related damage comes from workplace sound exposure. However, employment practices have changed a lot over the last sixty years. There are fewer manufacturing jobs now, and that profession is very damaging to your hearing health.
Furthermore, people are more conscious of the harm that comes from environmental factors. Noise protection is becoming more widely-used.
Advances in Medical Science
Many discoveries can help you prevent hearing damage. New medical treatments also help reduce the rates of hearing loss.
Research shows that smoking harms your hearing health. But there are fewer smokers these days. Additionally, second-hand smoke is becoming less of an issue.