Many people are under the misconception that hearing loss only affects older individuals. This is not the case many people are experiencing hearing loss at younger ages for a multitude of reasons. This could be contributed to the heavy use of headphones or simply being exposed to louder environments on a continuous daily basis. Some individuals are born with hearing disorders that cause hearing loss and results in the use of hearing aids.
Individuals that suffer from hearing loss often do not talk about it or admit that they have issues hearing because they may feel embarrassed by it or feel that they are different. Many people may not even be aware that they are experiencing hearing loss as many doctors and physicians do not administer a hearing test to distinguish if that is the case. People all over the world experience hearing loss and are wear hearing aids, or have taken a hearing test to see if they need hearing aids. This goes for the general population in Canada as well.
According to the CHS Awareness Survey conducted in 2002 1 out of every 4 adults reported having some level of hearing loss, while around 10% said they were culturally deaf, oral deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing (http://www.chs.ca/facts-and-figures). People often do not consider if the people next to them on the street or on the train are hard of hearing and may be surprised to find out that over 500,000 individuals, as of 2006, in Ontario are deaf or hard of hearing (Canada Census 2006). Although this was less than 5% of the population at that time it still accounts for a large portion of Ontario’s population.
Hearing loss is very prevalent in the general population of Canada as more adults identify as being hard of hearing or deaf than having eye sight problems. It is true that hearing loss is very common when individuals become older but young individuals also can suffer from hearing loss and administering a hearing test at young ages can help diagnosis young individuals with hearing disabilities.
Hearing loss is common throughout Canada but it is common throughout other countries as well. When compared to the United States, Canada has 4 in 1,000 infants born with some degree of hearing loss or that will develop hearing loss in their early childhoods whereas the U.S. has 3 in 1,000 infants that will develop hearing loss (www.chs.ca/facts-and-figures, . There are many things that can lead to hearing loss for genetics to the environment that an individual is in on a regular basis. However, the most common factor is old age and if there is a larger population over 60 years old the prevalence of hearing loss will be higher.