Common Question about Hearing Loss

Many people do not realize that hearing loss is among the most prevalent chronic health conditions. Let’s clarify the basics so that you can have an accurate sense of scale and know how to recognize the symptoms in both yourself and your loved ones. This basic knowledge will help you understand the appropriate preventative steps you can implement into your lifestyle today and consider your treatment options. There is no reason anyone should learn to live with it and compromise on living anything but their best potential life. 

Question: How Common Is Hearing Loss?

Answer: Studies estimate that 48 million Americans live with some degree of disabling hearing loss. For context, this is over 13% of the population over 18 years of age and almost three times as common as cancer. 

Question: Who Does It Affect?

Answer: Between 2 and 3 out of every 1,000 children born in the US are born with some detectable degree of hearing loss. This is called congenital hearing loss and may be caused by some anomaly in the minute parts of the ear, a viral infection such as herpes simplex or rubella, premature birth or extremely low birth weight. Over 90% of children born with congenital hearing loss are born to parents with perfectly healthy hearing. 

The Center for Disease Control finds that hearing difficulties increase in likelihood with age. Within the population aged 18-44, 6.3% are effected.  Among those aged 45-64 that number increases to 13.6%. 26.8% of people aged 65 and over are impacted. and Among those aged 75 and older the percentage hit by disabling hearing loss leaps to a whopping 50%. 

Question: How Does This Happen?

Answer: There are innumerable potential causes that may hurt your hearing. All of them damage the workings within your inner ear, either the infinitesimal hairs or the ear drum that these hairs vibrate against.  

This can be the result of simple degeneration over time, common to all parts of the body. Some people are more likely due to heredity, same as anything else. The decay may be a side effect of certain illnesses and even some medications. 

Many of our habits exacerbate the likelihood of risk. Though proximity a loud blast may cause sudden injury with immediate damage, it is much more likely that recurring proximity to occupational and recreational noises that have become normalized are likely to cause damage slowly. The rush of a loud concert or screaming crown at a sports event partially feels like a thrill precisely because your senses are being overwhelmed. and they are. and That can cause lasting damage. 

Question: What Are the Consequences of hearing loss?

Answer: Obviously hearing loss presents immediate physical dangers, increasing the risks of falls or collisions. and hearing loss is inconvenient and it is fatiguing but the potential consequences of failing to treat it are so much more than that. The consequences compound. 

Personal relationships suffer when you lose the intimacy of nuanced conversation. Socializing gets tiring when you are forced to ask people to repeat themselves over and over or you are literally missing a large ratio of the population. The accelerating cascade into worsening conditions is not difficult to trace: feeling socially isolated leads to depression. Depression leads to anxiety. Anxiety provokes cognitive decline and potentially dementia.  

And like so many Americans today, if your own sense of well-being is not enough to inspire you to action, perhaps the facts of the financial strains will motivate you to action. Studies prove that living with untreated hearing loss can lead to years of higher medical expenses and lower wages.

Question: What are the common signs that you should look out for?

Answer: Sometimes the troubles are as obvious as pain or ringing in your ears. Dizziness is also a sign. Less immediately recognizable: Do you often think people are mumbling? Do you frequently need to ask people to repeat themselves? Do you have trouble following conversations with multiple people or in crowds or on the phone?

Question: What Should I do if I Suspect that I or a Loved One is Suffering from Hearing Loss?

Answer: Make an appointment today to get a checkup with one of our specialists. They will assess the severity of your condition and present you with treatment options so you can choose what makes sense for your unique situation.