A significant portion of Canadians live with hearing loss in one or both ears.
According to Statistics Canada, at least 20 per cent of adults aged 19 to 79 have at least mild hearing loss, although hearing loss was more prevalent as age increased.
A total of 47 per cent of adults aged 60 to 79 were significantly more likely to have troubling with their hearing compared to 16 per cent of adults aged 40 to 59 and seven per cent aged 19 to 39.
Hearing loss in only one ear impacts 48 per cent of adults, whereas 52 per cent of adults suffer from hearing loss in both ears.
The survey results also found that adults are not the only ones to be losing their hearing, as five per cent of children and youth aged six to 18 have at least mild hearing loss in one or sometimes both ears. However, 90 per cent of children and youth reported decreased hearing in only one ear.
Also interesting is the fact that a majority of Canadians with measured hearing loss were not aware they had any hearing problems to begin with. About 70 per cent of adults and 83 per cent of children or youth with hearing loss did not report any diagnosis or hearing problems by a health care professional.
According to the federal government, hearing loss in a major health concern that often goes undetected and undertreated.
“Hearing loss can have many emotional and social consequences including social isolation, depression, safety issues, mobility limitations, and reduced income and employment opportunities,” read the Statistics Canada survey. “In children and youth, there is evidence that hearing loss negatively affects academic performance and language development needed for classroom learning and vocational achievement.”
Statistics Canada related an increase in hearing loss that affects Canadians to an increase in noise exposure. A total of 42 per cent of Canadians aged 16 to 79 years have worked or currently work in an environment where it is required to speak in a raised voice to communicate with someone standing an arm’s length away.
Among these individuals, 22 per cent used hearing protection, while 39 per cent did not.
In addition, 51 per cent of Canadians aged three to 79 years have used earbuds or headphones to listen to music. One-third of those individuals regularly listen to audio at a volume that was at or above three quarters of the maximum volume.