How common is noise-induced hearing loss?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Noise-induced hearing loss is very common. It has been estimated that 15 percent of adults over the age of 20 have lost some of their ability to hear high-frequency sounds because of noise-induced hearing loss. Numbers suggest that noise-induced hearing loss may be on the rise, too; one research study found that over 30 percent of the college-aged people that they studied had some amount of noise-induced hearing loss.

David M. Vernick, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
Excessive exposure to noise is to blame for the permanent hearing damage of 12.5% of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 and 17% of adults between the ages of 26 and 69 in the United States. Still, one study found that baby boomers now in their 60s have better hearing than their parents did at that age. The report cites better noise protection in the workplace in certain industries, such as manufacturing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.