According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 36 million Americans have a hearing loss—this includes 17% of our adult population. Unfortunately, only 20% of those individuals who might benefit from treatment actually seek help. Most tend to delay treatment until they cannot communicate even in the best of listening situations. On average, hearing aid users wait over 10 years after their initial diagnosis to be fit with their first set of hearing aids.
Several studies have documented the impact of untreated hearing loss. The National Council on Aging commissioned a survey in 1999 (Kochkin & Rogin, 2000). This nationwide survey of nearly 4,000 adults with hearing loss and their significant others showed significantly higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other psychosocial disorders in individuals with hearing loss who were not wearing hearing aids. This survey looked at the positive benefits of amplification and showed that hearing aid use positively affected quality of life for both the hearing aid wearer and his or her significant other.
For more information on how to improve your hearing, please visit our Hearing Improvement section.