Johns Hopkins Logo Hearing loss seems to be one major problem as it cumulatively impairs the communication of the person. As per John Hopkins scientists, almost one fifth of all individuals in the U.S are supposedly affected by hearing loss acute enough to make everyday communication difficult.

The team used data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES) that present health information from a multitude of people in America right from 1971. They analyzed all subjects aged 12 and above whose hearing was trialed during the aforesaid studies between 2001 and 2008.

In conformation with the World Health Organization’s definition for hearing loss, the scientists found that about 12.7% of the U.S population suffered from hearing loss in both ears. As far as hearing loss in one ear is concerned, the number rose to 20.3%.

“I couldn’t find a simple number of how common hearing loss is in the U.S., so we decided to develop our own,” commented study leader Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor with dual appointments in both the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

As per the report, hearing loss rose by two folds every decade, however women and blacks were less likely to encounter hearing loss at any specific age. The experts are not clear as to why these groups seemed to be shielded. Some explanations like the role of female hormone estrogen and the melanin pigment in protecting the inner ear are being speculated upon.

The team believes that these estimates could be used to study hearing loss and its consequences on people. Hearing loss apparently leads to cognitive decline, dementia and poor physical functioning too.

The study is published in the journal, Archives of Internal Medicine.