Up to 48 million Americans are affected by some degree of hearing loss, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. Approximately 22% of American adults are exposed to dangerous noise levels, putting them at risk of noise induced hearing loss. Hearing loss doesn’t discriminate; it can affect both young and old.
Identifying hearing loss isn’t as simple as noticing changes to your hearing ability. Changes to your hearing are unlikely to happen overnight; in most cases it is a gradual worsening of your hearing. It’s often friends and family who first notice changes to your hearing.
Looking after your hearing is important. Not only does it ensure that you are able to hear everything around you, it has wider implications on your overall health. Understanding how to identify hearing loss can help you recognize when you need to see a hearing healthcare professional.
How Many People Experience Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is more common than you might think. Up to 15% of adults in the United States over the age of 18 experience some hearing problems.
The strongest predictor of hearing loss is age. It’s estimated that 30-35% of US adults between the ages of 65-75 experience age related hearing loss. This increases to 40% of adults over the age of 75, making hearing loss one of the most common conditions to affect the elderly.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Different types of hearing loss can have different causes. A common cause of hearing loss is exposure to loud noises. Other causes can include:
- Viral infections (mumps or measles, for example)
- Ménière's disease
- Obstruction in your ear
- Foreign object in your ear
- Abnormal growth
As there are a number of causes of hearing loss, it’s important to get your hearing assessed if you suspect any changes.
Identifying Hearing Loss
Identifying your hearing loss early can help preserve your quality of life. Plus, it has additional health benefits, like protecting your brain.
Read through these ten statements. If you identify with three or more, we recommend booking in an appointment with a hearing healthcare professional.
- I struggle to hear conversations on the phone, and need to listen on speakerphone.
- It’s difficult for me to follow the conversation if more than 2 people are talking.
- It feels like people mumble when speaking to me.
- I regularly ask people to repeat themselves.
- Friends or family have said I’m watching the TV at a very loud volume.
- I struggle to understand women and children.
- People are regularly frustrated that I misunderstand what they’re saying.
- I have to watch someone’s face or mouth when they speak to help me understand them.
- It’s hard for me to hear in noisy environments.
- I experience symptoms of tinnitus when I’m in a quiet place
If three or more of these statements ring true for you, it’s time to book a hearing assessment. At Hearing Balance & Speech Center, our experienced hearing care professionals will be able to determine if you are experiencing hearing loss and discuss options to help improve your hearing. Request an appointment online.
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