US statistics about hearing disorders and deafness from NIDCD


  • Hearing loss is greater in men.
  • Almost 12 percent of men who are 65 to 74 years of age are affected by tinnitus. Tinnitus is identified more frequently in white individuals and the prevalence of tinnitus is almost twice as frequent in the South as in the Northeast.
  • Only 1 out of 5 people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one.
  • Approximately 28 million Americans have a hearing impairment.
  • About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard-of-hearing. 9 out of every 10 children who are born deaf are born to parents who can hear.
  • Hearing loss affects approximately 17 in 1,000 children under age 18. Incidence increases with age: Approximately 314 in 1,000 people over age 65 have hearing loss and 40 to 50 percent of people 75 and older have a hearing loss.
  • Ten million Americans have suffered irreversible noise induced hearing loss, and 30 million more are exposed to dangerous noise levels each day.
  • Three out of 4 children experience ear infection (otitis media) by the time they are 3 years old.
  • At least 12 million Americans have tinnitus. Of these, at least 1 million experience it so severely that it interferes with their daily activities.
  • Approximately 59,000 people worldwide have received cochlear implants. About 250,000 people would be good candidates for a cochlear implant. In the United States, about 13,000 adults and nearly 10,000 children have cochlear implants.
  • Approximately 4,000 new cases of sudden deafness occur each year in the United States. Hearing loss affects only 1 ear in 9 out of 10 people who experience sudden deafness. Only 10 to 15 percent of patients with sudden deafness know what caused their loss.
  • Approximately 615,000 individuals have been diagnosed with Ménière’s disease in the United States. Another 45,500 are newly diagnosed each year.
  • Approximately 3 to 6 percent of all deaf children and perhaps another 3 to 6 percent of hard-of-hearing children have Usher syndrome. In developed countries such as the United States, about 4 babies in every 100,000 births have Usher syndrome.

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