Hearing loss is a decrease in the ability to hear. It can vary from mild to total loss of hearing and occur in one or both ears. There are three parts of the ear. Problems that contribute to hearing loss can occur in one or more of these parts.
About 28 million Americans (one in every ten) have hearing loss. It is one of the most common health conditions in the United States. Although it affects people of all ages, the numbers increase significantly with age.
Recent statistics estimate that 3-4 babies in 1,000 are born with partial or complete hearing loss (making this condition the most common birth defect). Seventeen in 1,000 children under age 18 have some hearing loss. Fourteen percent of people ages 45-64 have hearing loss. One-third of people over the age of 60 have hearing loss,