Hearing loss might almost double in the coming decades for those living in the U.S. The increase would most likely happen by 2060, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore said Thursday. 

By 2020, 55 percent of all adults with hearing loss will be 70 or older. In 2060, that rate will increase to 67 percent. Those who are 20 and older, are also expected to see a hearing loss increase — from 44 million in 2020 (15 percent of adults) to 73.5 million by 2060 (23 percent of adults), according to the researchers’ study titled “JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery.”

“In the coming decades, there will be an increased need for affordable interventions and access to hearing health care services,” said author Adele Goman, a research fellow at Hopkins’ Center on Aging and Health.

Goman and her associates used data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to calculate future hearing loss among Americans. “Hearing loss is a major public health issue that will affect many more adults,” she said. “In order to address this issue, novel and cost-effective approaches to hearing health care are needed.”

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