Human Health Relevance

Hearing loss in the U.S. and the world is an emerging epidemic (all data from NIDCD).

  • One in eight people in the U.S. aged 12 years or older (13%, or 30 million) has hearing loss in both ears.
  • For those aged 65 to 74, 25% have a disabling hearing loss, and for those over 75, that number grows to 50%.
  • Adult men are almost twice as likely as women to have hearing loss.
  • Approximately 29 million U.S. adults could benefit from hearing aids, but only a small minority of these people have ever used them.
  • Hearing loss can cause social isolation, physical and mental health issues, and substantially hindered earning potential.

Our work seeks to mitigate the deleterious impact of this disabling epidemic through a better understanding of its influence on speech perception and through technological tools that attempt to render it moot.