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World Hearing Day highlights growing hearing loss prevalence

World Hearing Day is observed on March 3rd every year in order to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss, as well as promote ear and hearing care across the globe. Hearing loss is becoming more prevalent, and unaddressed needs are causing additional costs to the healthcare system, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

This year, World Hearing Day focused on overcoming the challenges posed by societal misperceptions and stigmatizing mindsets through raising awareness and sharing information with both the public and healthcare professionals. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 80% of ear and hearing care needs remain unmet globally and those unaddressed needs pose an annual cost of nearly $1 trillion globally. The WHO claims that deeply ingrained societal misperceptions and stigmas are key factors that limit efforts to prevent and address hearing loss.

According to GlobalData, the prevalence of hearing loss in the US among adults was 7.6% in 2023, and that number is expected to rise to 8% in 2033. When hearing or audiometry tests are conducted, the results are often shown through audiograms, which are reports that show the test results in graph form. Audiograms show the quietest sounds that the patient is able to hear at different frequencies and indicate the degree of loss across different types of sounds.

While hearing aids are one of the most common treatments for hearing loss, there are also hearing implants for those with more severe hearing loss. Different types of hearing implants include cochlear implants, bone anchored hearing implants, middle ear implants, and auditory brainstem implants.

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