The following information extracted from fact sheets from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) illustrates the enormity of the twin problems of deafness and hearing impairments.
Nearly 30 million Americans have a hearing im- pairment. The prevalence of hearing loss is greater in men than in women.
Ten million Americans have suffered irreversible noise-induced hearing loss, and 30 million of us are exposed to noise levels (over 85 dBs) every day.
Approximately 4,000 new cases of sudden deafness occur each year in our country. In nine out of 10 cases of sudden deafness, one ear is affected. Only 10-15% of sudden-deafness victims know what caused the hearing loss.
At least 12 million Americans suffer from tinnitus. Nearly 12% of men between the ages of 65 and 74 are