Merck Manuals Survey Finds Majority of Americans Rarely Think About Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder in the United States with more than 10% of Americans suffering from some impairment that affects their daily communication. Yet many people admit they don’t often think about hearing loss and are reluctant to use some of the most effective hearing loss prevention and treatment techniques.

A survey released today from the Merck Manuals found that 59% of Americans say they rarely think about hearing loss. At the same time, 86% of respondents say they have participated in noisy activities in the last 12 months, including listening to audio through headphones or earbuds (58%), landscaping their home with a power mower, weed whacker or leaf blower (42%) or attending a live concert or event with a band/DJ (34%) or professional sporting event (33%). These activities all have the potential to damage hearing, depending on the volume and duration of sound.

The survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of the Manuals in July 2018. Other key findings include:

  •  Nearly 9 out of 10 (86%) understand that hearing damage can happen even when something doesn’t “sound” too loud, yet just 64% say they try to take preventative measures to protect their hearing whenever possible.
  •  Nearly a third of Americans (32%) believe it is rare for adults to develop hearing loss at a young age. Younger adults aged 18-34 (43%) are twice as likely to believe this, compared to older adults aged 65+ (21 percent).
  •  Two thirds of Americans (66%) recognize that if hearing loss runs in your family, you are more likely to be affected by it.

Read more at Business Insider.