What Is It?
Hearing loss is a decrease in the ability to perceive sounds. In adults, hearing loss can be partial or total, sudden or gradual, temporary or permanent, and it can affect one ear or both. Currently in the United States, 28 million people over age 3 have some form of hearing loss. During adulthood, the condition affects approximately 3 percent of all men and women. In general, the risk of hearing loss increases with age. Between 24 percent and 40 percent of adults over age 65 have difficulty hearing. Thirty percent of people over age 85 are deaf in at least one ear.
Diseases and Conditions Center
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