MONDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Hearing loss affects about one-fifth of Americans aged 12 and older, a far higher number than previously believed, researchers report.
They examined data from people whose hearing was tested during National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES) from 2001 to 2008.
Based on the World Health Organization's definition of hearing loss (unable to hear sounds of 25 decibels or less in the speech frequencies), the NHANES data showed that 12.7 percent (30 million people) of the U.S. population aged 12 and older had hearing loss in both ears and 20.3 percent (48 million people) had hearing loss in at least one ear.
Previous estimates put the numbers at 21 million to 29 million.
This new study also found that rates of hearing loss nearly doubled with every decade of age, and that women and blacks were significantly less likely to have hearing loss at any age.
It's not clear why women and blacks are less likely to experience hearing loss, study leader Dr. Frank Lin said in a university news release.
Lin is an assistant professor with dual appointments in both the department of otolaryngology-head & neck surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and in the department of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
It may be that the female hormone estrogen and the melanin pigment in darker skin could have a protective effect on the inner ear, which Lin and colleagues plan to investigate in future studies.
Lin said the findings of this study, published Nov. 14 in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, will help research into hearing loss and its potential consequences such as cognitive decline, dementia and poor physical functioning.
"This gives us the real scope of the problem for the first time and shows us how big of a problem hearing loss really is," Lin said.
Hearing Aids or Hearing Amplifiers, what is better for you?
Get ready for some sticker shock.
If your hearing is starting to deteriorate and think you need a little help, what choices do you have? Digital Hearing Aids are generally the first things that come to mind but they can set you back $ 3,000 or more ... and that is just for one ear. The process is pretty simple. You find a doctor or audiologist located near you, you pull out a coupon from one of their frequent ads in the local newspaper offering the promise of great discounts, you make an appointment, have your hearing testing, and are told, “we can outfit you with a state of the art hearing aid complete with fabulous features – noise reductions, 100% digital hearing aid processing, comfortable fit, feedback cancellation (whatever that is) - and it will only cost you about $ 2.945 per ear ... plus tax.
You ask yourself, quite rightly, if I can buy a full flat screen High Definition TV with internal DVD player for less than $ 700 or an iPad for under $ 500, why does a hearing aid cost almost $ 3,000 ? How can such a little electronic device cost so much?
Ahhh, you think, there really is no problem. My health insurance or Medicare will take care of that for me.
Wrong. There is no insurance coverage for hearing aid. The money has to come out of your pocket.
“Do you have any cheap hearing aids”, you ask.
The good news is that for anyone looking for a little hearing help, there is an inexpensive hearing aid alternative – the hearing amplifier. A prominent audiologist in Connecticut who does not want to have his name used for fear of angering his fellow audiologist calls Hearing Amplifiers “starter hearing aids – an inexpensive hearing aid alternative. www.HealthandFitnessNews.com These hearing amplifiers fit nicely in the ear. Have tone control. And magnify the sounds to make routine conversations easier, phone calls more pleasant, and watching TV at home not a battle over the sound control. Best of all, they cost a fraction of digital hearing aids. Often less than $ 30.00
Hearing aids or hearing amplifiers? The choice is yours. But hearing amplifiers, the so called starter hearing aids, deserve a look.
The Amazing Ampli Ear
One other great product that is on the market today is called the Ampli Ear; this is a great hearing aid device. The American Research Institute has tested IT. The hearing aid scores very well on the clarity, the increasing of the sound and how comfortable it is . This product has score a 100 out of a 100 points. It is the best hearing aid in its class.
The Ampli Ear is great and is terrific for those people who have seen what the world has to offer. The Ampli Ear is so small and compact that it fits directly into your ear and it is barely noticeable. You will be able to hear sounds you have never heard before.
You will be able to hear whispers and phone conversations, TV shows, the radio and sounds of the environment. The sounds on the Ampli ear are amplified so that you will never have to ask anyone to repeat what they just said again. Try the Amlpi Ear today, it is doctor recommended and tested. This is one of the great products out there.
The Ampli Ear can work for anyone who is slightly impaired and not totally deaf. The Ampli Ear can show you, the hearing aid device can be ordered to fit larger ears, it has 4 battery replacements, a free cleaning brush, 5 different sized ear fittings. It all comes with a great informative booklet.