How many people in your life have hearing difficulties? One person? Two people? A handful? No one? The actual number is quite possibly more than you think, because hearing loss — the inability or reduced ability to perceive sounds that enter the ear — is much more common than many realize.
In the United States and Canada together, for example, millions of people live with hearing loss. Numbers may vary per organization, government agency, or study, but:
Johns Hopkins researchers have estimated that 20 percent of Americans 12 or older — about one out of every five — has some form of hearing loss. The Canadian Hearing Society has stated that nearly a quarter of adult Canadians — close to one in four — has reported experiencing some level of hearing impairment.
In both countries, hearing loss also represents one of the top chronic physical …