Hearing loss affects approximately 48 million individuals in the United States and may be age-related, noise-induced, or result from medical treatment, injury, or genetics. Hearing loss knows no geographic or demographic boundaries and impacts individuals across the lifespan worldwide.
In today’s environment of wearing masks and physical distancing, the ability to hear and communicate is more important than ever. Even mild hearing loss is associated with multiple comorbidities, including depression, social isolation, higher risk of falls, and dementia. In fact, research shows that the risk of dementia doubles with mild hearing loss, triples with moderate hearing loss, and individuals with severe hearing loss are 5 times more likely to develop dementia. According to the Lancet Commission, the leading potentially modifiable risk factor for developing dementia is untreated hearing loss.
Not only are there significant comorbidities associated with hearing loss, but substantial economic costs as well. Adults with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 annually, with an estimated cost of $176 billion nationwide due to underemployment.