A mother shared a video on TikTok of her son hearing for the first time, with the footage quickly going viral and amassing more than 11 million views.
Parent Haley Miller posted the video on 27 November, showing her son initially being frustrated at having a hearing aid inserted into his ear, but quickly changing his tune as he’s able to hear for the first time.
“It’s going to take a minute to start up because the device is not turned on, and then once we do turn it on, there is a tiny delay,” a medical staffer says at the beginning of the video.
“Hey, buddy! Can you hear mom’s voice?” Ms Miller says after her son squirms and cries as the electric hearing aid is put in.
“I bet this is a wonderful job to be in, to witness this daily,” one user commented.
“The immediate change of emotion is just so heartwarming,” another said.
“I am literally on the toilet bawling,” a third account holder wrote.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders, between two and three children for every 1,000 babies in the US are “born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears” and more than 90 per cent of deaf babies are born to parents who can hear.
Around 15 per cent – 37 million – of all American adults over the age of 18 have reported having some issues with their hearing.
“Age is the strongest predictor of hearing loss among adults aged 20-69, with the greatest amount of hearing loss in the 60 to 69 age group,” the institute says.
In the group of adults between ages 20 and 69, men are twice as likely to develop hearing problems than women.
“Non-Hispanic white adults are more likely than adults in other racial/ethnic groups to have hearing loss,” the institute adds. “Non-Hispanic black adults have the lowest prevalence of hearing loss among adults aged 20-69.”
About 28.8 million adult Americans could “benefit from using hearing aids” but only “118,100 devices have been implanted in adults and 65,000 in children”.
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