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Why more Americans are discovering that active aging starts with hearing

Author portrait photo

Martin Dluzansky 

on April 15, 2024

People smiling while playing tennisNearly half of U.S. adults aged 50+ who report hearing difficulty, say they should have been more proactive with hearing care earlier in life.

Early signs of hearing loss often appear over coffee with friends or dinner with colleagues. Struggling to catch every word, conversations start feeling exhausting. Asking people to repeat themselves or navigating misunderstandings can be embarrassing.

Beyond the strain of in-person conversations, you may find yourself getting overwhelmed in social settings or turning the volume of the TV up to uncomfortable levels for those around you.

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“Hearing loss is extremely common, affecting 48M Americans, especially those over 50.

While it’s tempting to dismiss these early warnings, the fact is mild-to-moderate hearing loss is extremely common, affecting an estimated 48 million Americans especially those over 50 years old.

Untreated hearing loss often leads to unconscious lifestyle changes: avoiding social gatherings or not engaging in conversation as much. Taken together these behaviors present serious risks to physical and mental health.

64%

of U.S. adults aged 50+ report hearing difficulty

55%

say it negatively affects their ability to enjoy entertainment

45%

of them say they should've prioritized hearing care sooner

42%

say it negatively affects their social life

40%

say it negatively affects their personal relationships

32%

say that it negatively affects their mental health

Source: Harris Poll Oct 2023

How hearing health impacts our physical and mental health

People playing paddleWith OTC hearing aids you can feel like you’re a part of a conversation in any environment.

Recent clinical studies offer encouraging news. While even mild hearing loss can double the risk of dementia, according to a study by Johns Hopkins Medicine, researchers point to a similar conclusion: early adoption of hearing aids has a profound impact on quality of life even decreasing the risk of cognitive decline by 50%. According to another groundbreaking study, for example, people who wear hearing aids have a 24 percent lower risk of mortality.

Studies show early adoption of hearing aids have a profound impact on quality of life - even reducing the risk of cognitive decline by 50%

Studies show early adoption of hearing aids have a profound impact on quality of life - even reducing the risk of cognitive decline by 50%

That would explain why millions navigate the gradual onset of hearing loss, a growing number of people are discovering that the path forward is about taking charge, not giving up. In fact, an increasing number of people 70+ years old, as well as a growing segment of Americans 54 years old and young, are embracing hearing aids.

People are more likely to experience hearing loss as they age

Projected Increase in Hearing Loss Among Americans Aged 50 and Older

Age Group

Number of People with Hearing Loss, 2020

Number of People with Hearing Loss, 2060 Projection

Projected Percent Increase in Hearing Loss

50-59

5.62M

6,65M

18%

60-69

10.38M

12.79M

23%

70-79

13.65M

21.88M

60%

≥80

10.79M

27.7M

156%

Hearing well, living fully

What they’re learning is that active aging is about more than just adding years to life; it's about adding quality of life to those years.

Good hearing connects us to others, enriching those interactions and helping people live more confidently.

Acknowledging hearing changes is the first step toward breaking the cycle of hearing loss and social withdrawal.

Prioritizing hearing health and taking the next step used to carry its own challenges, including finding a doctor, navigating insurance, and managing costs.

Two elderly people playing basketballPeople who wear hearing aids have a 24% lower risk of mortality, according to a recent study from Keck Medicine of USC.

The FDA's approval of over-the-counter hearing aids in 2022 created more access to better hearing and invited a wave of innovative, new hearing aids onto the market, catering to a younger generation that is more comfortable with being proactive about their hearing.

Tailored specifically for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, these over-the-counter hearing aids are increasing access like never before. They’re typically as much as 80% less expensive than audiologist fitted hearing aids and are available without a prescription. And in 2024, hearing aids will start to be covered under some insurance plans, so check your plan to see if they are covered.

Among OTC hearing aid brands now on shelves in the wake of the FDA’s approval, Lexie hearing aids are designed with active adults in mind, offering self-fitting options, customizable settings, and a design that works for any lifestyle.

See these OTC Hearing Aids for Active Adults
Verified Lexie B2 Plus

Hearing customer

logo

Excellent!!

Wonderful!! I’m extremely satisfied with the purchase….and Customer Service. They are knowledgeable, pleasant, professional and eager to help… They are the best. Overall, I rate the Lexie B2 Plus Self-fitting OTC Hearing Aids 5 Stars. I would give them a 10 if I could.

Verified Lexie B2 Plus

Hearing customer

logo

Love my Lexie Hearing Aids

I have had my Lexie Hearing Aids for almost 2 months now and love them…. I could not be happier that I can finally participate in group and individual conversations again without missing anything of the conversations. Such a joy to be able to hear well!

Powered by Bose technology, Lexie Hearing’s most popular models are clinically-proven to provide similar hearing benefits as audiologist-fitted hearing aids and are changing the way people experience everyday conversations. Lexie Hearing is the number one OTC hearing aid brand according to Circana’s Retail Tracking Service, based on U.S. dollar sales from October 2022 – 2023 combined.

Take our FREE hearing test

Take our free 2-minute clinically validated hearing test to find out.

How can lexie

How can Lexie Hearing be part of your hearing health journey?

From the intuitive app that guides users through customization and adjustments, to free ongoing remote customer care, Lexie’s approach aligns perfectly with the active aging philosophy, emphasizing autonomy, wellness, and growth. Lexie hearing aids have a 91% customer satisfaction rate even in noisy situations.

Lexie hearing aids and a phone side by sideTake hearing personalization to the next level with Lexie B2 Plus hearing aids, Powered by Bose.

By recognizing the signs of hearing loss and embracing solutions like Lexie hearing aids, people can reclaim control, and stay active, engaged, and connected in every phase of life. Rather than accepting hearing loss as an inevitable part of aging, this technology offers a proactive solution to a common struggle that often starts with hard-to-hear conversations.

Someone adjusting the volume on the mobile app83% of Lexie app users find the app easy to use in their daily lives

Engaging in every moment starts with the clarity of each word shared. And for many of us, that means embracing changes in our hearing - not ignoring them.