Hearing loss increases with age and the U.S. population is getting older. The number of Americans with hearing loss is expanding, including younger veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with hearing loss as well as aging Baby Boomers.
The CDC estimates that at least 60 percent of military members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan—about 600,000 veterans—suffer permanent hearing loss or tinnitus. It is the fastest-growing of all postwar disabilities, more than doubling over the past decade. Roughly half of people ages 50-59 have hearing loss—and that number jumps to 68 percent for people ages 60-69, according to the CDC.