Hearing Loss: How Common is Hearing Loss?

by C. Robert Pettit, MD

  • 1:1,000 U.S. children born with profound deafness
  • 3:1,000 born with partial hearing loss
  • Half of these are caused by genetic factors
  • Most (70 percent to 80 percent) of genetic loss is nonsyndromic (occurs without any other detectable abnormalities)
  • In adults, from 1970-2000, hearing loss doubled from 13m à 27m = 1:6
  • Chances of developing hearing loss increases with age;
  • hearing loss in >50% > 80 years.

British University students’ attitudes towards noise-induced hearing loss caused by nightclub attendance. (Johnson O, Andrew B, Walker D, Morgan S, Aldren A)

In past 30 years, noise-induced hearing loss among adolescents and young adults has increased. This study studied nightclub sound levels > 85 dB. 325 students were questioned regarding frequency of auditory symptoms after nightclub attendance:

  • 88% had tinnitus and 66% had impaired hearing next morning.
  • 73% said risk of hearing damage would/did not affect their nightclub attendance
  • 70% felt noise levels should be limited to safe volumes.
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