Did You Know: Better Hearing Month

Better Hearing Month provides an opportunity for audiologists to raise awareness about hearing and balance disorders as well as our role in screening, treatment, and care.

Healthy hearing means not waiting to check your hearing until hearing loss is so significant it’s impacting your ability to participate in your work, social events you enjoy, or conversations with loved ones. Subtle changes in hearing may not be immediately noticeable but can make a big difference in quality of life.

Hearing loss impacts a large number of Americans. According to a study in 2024 sourced from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, approximately 22.2 percent (72.88 million) of people in the United States had hearing loss in 2019. The all-age prevalence of hearing loss in the United States was 28.1% higher in 2019 than in 1990, despite stable age standardized prevalence. As the baby boomer population ages, more Americans are forced to face hearing health challenges.

While age is still the greatest factor in hearing loss, many younger people also experience hearing difficulty due to exposure to loud music and noises including occupational noise. In 2019, 83.0% of all Americans with hearing loss were over age 50, and 39.4% of these people had hearing loss that was moderate or more severe. Almost 18% of people with hearing loss under 50 had a case that was moderate or more severe.

Tinnitus, defined as the perception of sound in the absence of acoustic stimuli, is often concurrent with hearing loss and has adverse effects on concentration, sleep patterns, and overall quality of life. An estimated 32.5% of Americans experienced hearing loss concurrent with tinnitus.

Research demonstrates that untreated hearing loss in seniors is related to poor health outcomes including significantly increased falls and dementia. Hearing aids are the most commonly recognized treatment for hearing loss. An estimated 9.7% of individuals with mild to profound hearing loss utilized a hearing aid. Use of hearing aid might prevent or delay the onset and progression of dementia according to a study in 2024.

In celebration and acknowledgment of Better Hearing Month, we would like to show our appreciation for California audiologists by sharing this infographic with members of our community. We encourage you to download and share this infographic as a piece of patient-centered material. Our hope is that this information will support your efforts to educate your patients about hearing loss.