World wide, 360 million people have disabling hearing loss.
1 in 20 people has disabling hearing loss with no access to the care they need.
Hearing loss is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease. If hearing loss were considered a disability, it would rank as the largest disability class in the United States.
Hearing care is expensive. Effective hearing aids can cost $1,000 to $3,000 per ear. In addition, patients have ongoing costs for batteries, dry storage, cleaning supplies, new ear molds, repairs and maintenance. These costs last a lifetime. Hearing care easily costs tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a hearing-impaired person. Unfortunately, most of the people affected by hearing impairment live in low- and middle-income countries, where the cost of a pair of hearing aids may exceed their annual income!
Because of it's expense and sophistication, many people around the world don't have access to hearing care. Sadly, children with unaided hearing loss tend to significantly underperform their hearing counterparts in school. And, not surprisingly, adults with unaided hearing loss have a much higher unemployment rate. Worst of all, people with unaided hearing loss tend to be socially isolated and have higher risk of exploitation.