48 Million Americans Experience Hearing Loss¹
NationsBenefits®, a leading provider of supplemental hearing aid benefits through NationsHearing®, recognizes Better Hearing and Speech Month and encourages Americans to have their hearing tested and take action if they have hearing loss.
“Hearing loss is one of the most common, chronic conditions Americans experience,” explains Dr. Dianne Cooper, AuD, Chief of Audiology at NationsBenefits. “Many people wait years or even decades to take any action on their hearing loss—if they ever do. This is true even though there are so many intervention and treatment options that help people communicate more effectively. We want to inform the public how and where they can connect with help for hearing and related conditions during May—and why they must do so."
Dr. Dianne Cooper, AuD, Chief of Audiology at NationsBenefits
Hearing Loss Can Happen at Any Age
Although it is well known that you can be born deaf and/or hard of hearing—and that hearing loss is relatively common among the elderly—you should know that hearing loss can occur at any age. Roughly 15% of school-aged children ages 6–19 have hearing loss, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 22 million workers (17%) are exposed to hazardous noise each year in the U.S. workplace, putting their hearing at risk.
Hearing loss may be due to exposure to excessive noise (e.g., from noisy occupations or leisure activities), ear infections, and even certain medications or medical treatments, among other reasons. However, many people routinely ignore their hearing health. A survey by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and YouGov in 2021 found that only two in 10 adults (20%) have had a hearing test in the past 5 years, while roughly six in 10 (61%) have had their vision tested.
As a first step, Dr. Cooper recommends that anyone with concerns about their or a loved one’s hearing get a hearing evaluation from a certified audiologist. Although treatment isn’t always covered by insurance, an evaluation generally is. (Note that a referral to an audiologist may be required). This is an important step—even for those who do not think they can afford hearing aids. Hearing aids are not the only treatment option. Audiologists can also discuss other options based on a person’s listening needs and budget.
For Hearing Care Professionals interested in joining the NationsHearing® provider network, please visit NationsBenefits.com/Providers.
For health plans seeking a comprehensive and cost-effective hearing aid and hearing services solution, NationsHearing offers a supplemental hearing benefit that focuses on a technology-driven, outcomes-based approach for members, health plans, partners and providers while maintaining unmatched personalized care through a centralized process. Further, the company’s innovative hearing technology promotes utilization and engagement for those with hearing loss. For more information, please visit NationsBenefits.com/NationsHearing.