Hearing Loss Overview

Hearing Loss Overview

It is estimated that 48 million Americans experience hearing loss, including 1 in 6 baby boomers.

Hearing loss is more common than you think and is a significant problem around the world. It can come from exposure to noise, age, illness, and even be inherited. Here are some important facts about hearing loss:

  • Over time, the rate of hearing loss increases. Roughly 30% of people over 65 years of age and 40%-50% of people over 75 years of age have a hearing loss.
  • Men are more likely than women to have a hearing loss, but they are less likely to seek help for it. 
  • Only 20-25% of people who would benefit from hearing aids are actually using them. 
  • Hearing loss is the third most common physical condition in older Americans, after hypertension and arthritis. 
  • 90%-95% of people with hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids.

Hearing is a dynamic process involving not only the ear’s responsiveness, but also the understanding of words. Hearing involves teamwork between your ears and brain. Loss of hearing can have a major impact on the mental, physical, and social well-being of a person. A hearing loss can happen so gradually that it could be happening for several years before someone may notice it in their everyday life.

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Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss means you can no longer hear sounds as well as you used to due to an issue along the auditory pathway. There are three main types of hearing loss:

Signs Of A Hearing Loss

You may have a hearing loss if you show some of the following signs: 

  • You watch the TV or listen to the radio at a louder volume than others in the room.
  • Often asking people to repeat themselves or finding yourself asking “What?”.
  • Finding it difficult to understand what is being said in groups with multiple people talking or when there is background noise. 
  • Complaining that certain people need to speak up and/or that they mumble. 
  • You have trouble understanding what is being said, except when you address the speaker head-on. 
  • You have ringing in your ears that you notice when it's quiet.

If you find any of these signs a common factor in your life then you may have a hearing loss. Contact us for a free hearing consultation by one of our hearing instrument specialists to discuss your specific hearing situation.

Hearing loss typically happens slowly over a period of years. You can gradually get used to asking others to repeat themselves, to straining to hear in restaurants or business meetings, to turning the TV volume up where it’s too loud for everyone else in the room. Over time, hearing loss can seem normal but have a hugely negative impact on quality of life and overall health.

Most hearing loss can be assisted and improvements can be noticed across many areas of life. There’s no reason to tough it out or to feel left out when you could be getting more from life.

Why live with hearing loss? Hearing loss doesn’t only affect ourselves, but the people that are most important to you. When hearing loss affects communication and other important aspects of relationships, it frustrates you and your loved ones. Some people become so frustrated by their hearing loss that they stop doing what they enjoy, like going out with friends or family, or participating in meetings or going to the theater.

Start Your Journey to Improved Hearing Today!

On average people over 7 years before visiting a hearing specialist for their hearing loss. Just as you wouldn’t tolerate a loss in vision without a trip to the eye doctor, why ignore a loss in hearing without looking into options to help? Your ears and brain thrive on sound. Your ears and brain thrive on sound. But studies show that over time, hearing loss impairs the brain’s ability to process sound and recognize speech. A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins found that individuals with hearing loss experience a 30-40% greater decline in cognitive abilities when compared to their counterparts without hearing loss. That same study also found adults with hearing loss develop significant impairments to their cognitive abilities 3.2 years earlier than adults with normal hearing. The earlier hearing loss is treated, the better. Don’t wait to get the help you need!