13 percent experience difficulty hearing even with hearing aid

Lifestyle

In 2019, 13.0 percent of adults had some difficulty hearing even when using a hearing aid, according to a July data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Jennifer H. Madans, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the National Health Interview Survey to examine the percentage of adults (aged 18 years and older) with hearing difficulties even when using a hearing aid.

The researchers found that 13.0 percent of adults had some difficulty hearing and 1.6 percent had a lot of difficulty hearing or could not hear at all even when using a hearing aid in 2019. There was an increase in hearing difficulties with age, with 26.8 and 4.1 percent of those aged 65 years and older having some difficulty and having a lot of difficulty or not hearing at all, respectively. Men were more likely than women to have had some or a lot of difficulty hearing or could not hear at all among adults aged 45 years and older. The rates of having some difficulty, a lot of difficulty, or being unable to hear at all were increased for non-Hispanic Whites aged 45 to 64 years compared with other race and Hispanic-origin groups.

“Advancements in hearing aid technology have resulted in improvements in hearing ability with the use of these aids but, as shown in this report, hearing difficulties remain even when hearing aids are used,” the authors write.