Do you know anyone with hearing loss? Even if you don't have a hearing impairment yourself, there's a strong chance that a family member or friend will be affected.
An estimated one in six people are believed to have some degree of hearing loss here in Australia1, but judging by overseas trends, this number could be set to rise significantly in the coming years.
Here we're looking at some important new research that could predict the future of hearing loss.
Hearing loss on the rise
Figures from recent American research suggest that the number of people with hearing loss aged 20 or older could be set to increase significantly over the next few decades. According to the study, 23 per cent of Americans could have hearing loss by the year 2060 – that's some 74 million people2.
This is compared to figures for 2020, which estimated hearing loss as affecting 15 per cent of the US adult population2. Published by the JAMA Network, the study used population data to help them arrive at their conclusion.
"These projections can inform policy makers and public health researchers in planning appropriately for the future audiologic hearing health care needs of society," the authors wrote2.
Why are more and more people experiencing hearing problems?
This upward trend looks as if it may also reflect the situation here at home. By the year 2050, hearing loss may affect as many as one in four Australians according to the HCIA1.
As for the reason behind this phenomenon, there are a range of potential factors. As hearing loss is common in older people, Australia's ageing population could have a part to play.
However, young people aren't immune to the problem, with some 1.1 billion people between the ages of 12 and 35 potentially at risk of hearing loss according to the World Health Organisation3.
If you or someone you love experience difficulty hearing in everyday situations, it could be time to seek a second opinion. You can click here to book your FREE* hearing test with Adelaide Digital Hearing, or call us on 1800 940 982.
1Hearing Care Industry Association, About hearing loss. Accessed April, 2017.
2JAMA Network, Number of People in U.S. with Hearing Loss Expected to Nearly Double in Coming Decades. Accessed April, 2017.
3WHO, 1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss. Accessed April, 2017.