Frequently Asked Questions
Exposure to loud noise is the main cause of hearing loss, but there are other factors that can damage your hearing, including:
- Ear and viral infections
- Heredity factors
- Certain antibiotics and medications
- Chemotherapy and radiation treatments
- Wax buildup
There are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural and mixed.
Conductive hearing loss stems from problems in the middle ear, outer ear or both. The auditory nerve functions normally, but sound is prevented from reaching the inner ear.
Sensorineural hearing loss, located in the inner ear, is the result of damage to the auditory nerve and/or auditory hair-cells.
A combination of conductive and sensorineural factors results in mixed hearing loss.
Yes and no. While it is possible to live with hearing loss, doing so puts both your mental and physical health and quality of life at greater risk. Hearing loss is linked to several life-threatening illnesses, such as heart and kidney disease, and increases the chances of developing psychological disorders, such as depression and Alzheimer’s.
Hearing loss also affects your quality of life by making it difficult to preserve your career and maintain relationships with family and friends. Hearing loss symptoms can cause you to feel tired, stressed or annoyed or embarrassed and can often impact your involvement when it comes to social gatherings.
Not necessarily. Because of the gradual nature of hearing loss, many don’t realize they have it. In fact, it often takes a third party – a friend or family member – to convince the individual with hearing loss that there’s a problem.
Below are some signs you may have hearing loss:
- Do you require others to frequently repeat what they are saying?
- Do you have difficulty following conversations in a group setting?
- Do sounds come across muffled or do others sound like they’re mumbling?
- Do you have difficulty hearing in crowded situations, like, restaurants, malls, or family gatherings?
- Do you have trouble hearing children and women?
- Do you have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume?
Do you have ringing in your ears?
Do you find yourself reading lips or more intently or watching people’s faces when they speak?
Additionally when addressing the possibility of hearing loss you want to be aware of the following:
- Is there a family history of hearing loss?
- Do you take medications that may harm the hearing system?
- Do you have diabetes, heart, circulation or thyroid problems?
- Have been exposed to very loud sounds over a long period or single exposure to explosive noise?
Yes. There is a common misconception that hearing aids don’t work. That belief stems from outdated technology and improper fittings. With the aid of an audiologist and the latest technology, hearing aids can dramatically improve your ability to hear speech and sounds.
No. Hearing aids are a sign of treatment for hearing loss, which affects individuals of all ages. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately 48 million Americans (20 percent) report some degree of hearing loss.
- Age is the strongest predictor of hearing loss among adults ages 20-69
- Those age 60-69 have the greatest amount of hearing loss
- 25 % of American adults have experienced tinnitus lasting for at least five minutes in the past year.
- Adult men (age 20-69) are twice as likely to have hearing loss than women of the same age.
- As women age, they have more difficulty hearing at lower frequencies than do men.
- Approximately 2-3 of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable hearing loss in one or both ears.
- More than 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents
- 15% of school-age children (6-19) have some degree of hearing loss.
- 30 million Americans age 12 and older has hearing loss in both ears.