Q&A About Hearing Loss

QUESTION: How Common is Hearing Loss?

ANSWER: Disabling hearing loss is far more common than most people assume and as the population grows older it is only becoming more and more common. An estimated 13% of the US population lives with some degree of compromised hearing and shockingly more than two-thirds of these people do not take action to treat it. 

QUESTION: What Causes Hearing Loss?

ANSWER: Congenital hearing loss is when a child is born with a disabling condition. This affects only a little less than three out of every thousand children born in the US. Hearing damage can be the result of proximity to a shockingly loud sound, such as an explosion. When this happens the effects are instantaneous and obvious and they may be temporary or permanent. The blast injures some delicate piece of the inner workings of the ear. Much more commonly, hearing loss is the gradual result of sustained exposure to dangerous volumes. Because the harm is gradual, it is more difficult to recognize and therefore the victim is less likely to take either preventative action or seek treatment. Many common professions pose significant risks to their workers, such as construction, loud factory floors, or even busy restaurants or night clubs. There may not be a shocking singular moment of dangerous volume and you may get used to it, but that does not mean that the deterioration is not accruing. Many recreational activities pose just as much danger. A few minutes at a loud concert of in a crowded arena screaming for a sports team may not pose too much of a risk, but hours of exposure is a significant threat, as is making a habit of these activities. 

QUESTION: Who Does Hearing Loss Affect?

ANSWER: No one is immune to hearing loss. It affects all genders and races and socio-economic classes and the likelihood of feeling its impact increases for everyone with age. Over 6% of UA adults aged 18-44 are affected. This number grows to 13.6% of adults between the ages of 45 and 64. and From there the ratio of the US population that suffers from hearing loss shoots up: Almost 27% of those aged 65 and over suffer from it and a staggering 50% of those over the age of 75 are hit. and Keep in mind, disabling hearing loss does not only burden those with the diminishing sense themselves, but all those around them. 

QUESTIONS: What are the signs to look out for?

ANSWER: It is oftentimes simpler to recognize the symptoms of hearing loss in others that you are close to than in yourself. This makes sense as your own senses ground you within your environment and same as it is difficult to keep track of losing or gaining one pound at a time or your hair gradually thinning, the change is subtle. But we can’t help but notice when those we love are asking us to repeat ourselves over and over. Communication becomes difficult, messages muddied, information dropped and the rhythms of conversation awkward. We can not help but notice when it has become difficult to talk to our loved ones because their television is turned up so loud. Relationships dwindle because it is difficult to go out; you cannot converse in public spaces with any background noise. Though it may feel awkward at first, you need to have that conversation with your loved one if you suspect that he or she is suffering impaired hearing.  

QUESTION: What are the potential consequences of failing to treat it?

ANSWER: There should be no shame associated with hearing loss. Beyond all the potential causes listed above, the simple wear and tear of the body takes its toll with age. and the many diminutive parts of the inner ear are no exception. Explain to your loved one that there is nothing to be embarrassed about, but that treatment is necessary. It is much more than just a simple inconvenience to live with diminished hearing. It can throw off your equilibrium and complicate orienting yourself in your environment. It increases the risk of injurious tumbles and bumps. and The psychological and emotional risks are plentiful and serious: social isolation, depression, cognitive deterioration.   

QUESTION: What are the preventions and Treatments?

ANSWER: No one should live with this compromised quality of life. Make an appointment with one of our specialists today to learn about the simple preventative measures you can implement immediately to increase your odds that you will not be one of the victims. Bring a loved one with you for a checkup to help normalize regular attention to hearing health because an investment in your hearing is an investment in your overall health.