NIDCD is added a hearing component to the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) by sponsoring inclusion of many additional questions on hearing loss and tinnitus. The hearing loss questions on the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) will greatly augment the one basic question on hearing difficulty included in the annual core of the NHIS survey. The NHIS is a large, annual population-based health survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The NHIS is the principal source of information on the health of the civilian, non-institutionalized, household population of the United States. It has been conducted continuously since its inception in 1957. The NHIS is currently designed to collect information from approximately 35,000 households each year and includes an over-sample of the Black, Hispanic, and Asian American populations. The last times NIDCD supported additional hearing questions for NHIS was in 2002 and 2007. Based on the 2002 NHIS, we estimated there were 30.6 million adults in the United States with hearing loss. The additional questions in 2002 included: the use of hearing aids by children (ever;how often in past 12 months);use of hearing aids by adults (ever;how often in past 12 months);age when subject first began to have hearing loss (e.g., at birth, early childhood, adolescence, young adult, middle-aged adult, older adult);the main cause of hearing loss or deafness (e.g., genetic, infection, injury, or noise exposure). For 2007, the hearing questions were developed jointly by NIDCD staff (with the help of expert consultants) and NCHS staff. NIDCD and NCHS have a shared interest in tracking questions over time for trends and in inclusion of new questions to increase our understanding of the burden and societal costs of hearing loss and tinnitus. For the 2014 Hearing Health Supplement, this process was repeated. NIDCD and NCHS have shared interests in obtaining better information on the functional impact of hearing impairment on children and adults (e.g., impact on schooling, working, in social settings), use of hearing aids (and other rehabilitative devices), exposure to loud sounds or noise at work or during leisure activities, use of hearing protection when exposed to loud sounds, and tinnitus (e.g., duration, severity, functional impact, treatments). The NIDCD and NCHS NHIS Hearing Health Supplements have been (and will be) used to track several objectives included in the Hearing and Other Sensory or Communication Disorders focus area of Health People 2020.

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National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
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