The prevalence of hearing loss in the US has increased from 13 to 24 million in the past 30 years.
In newborn children, 3 per 1000 are born with congenital hearing loss. Disabling hearing loss affects almost 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74 years and half of those 75 and older. Almost 29 million Americans could benefit from hearing aids.
Welch Center faculty conduct innovative patient-oriented research on hearing loss. One area of expertise is childhood cochlear implants. Welch Center core faculty lead a large multisite prospective cohort study of children with cochlear implants and normal hearing controls. The study examines a variety of important outcomes include spoken language development, academic achievement, speech production and recognition, social interaction and behavior and health related quality of life and economic outcomes.
In the Welch Center, we mentor trainees at all levels and are committed to preparing future leaders in epidemiology of conditions such as hearing loss. As an example, the study described provides rich opportunities for trainees to perform research projects.
Nae-Yuh Wang is a Welch Center faculty member with interest in hearing loss.