Hearing plays a major role in our emotional well-being, physical health, and overall quality of life. Yet millions of people with hearing loss let it go untreated, despite research showing increased risk of falls, depression, anxiety, and dementia.
Most of the time hearing problems begin gradually without discomfort or pain. What's more, family members often learn to adapt to someone’s hearing loss without even realizing they are doing it. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether you have hearing loss.
There are three types of hearing loss including: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss. Most people lose at least some degree of their hearing as they age, and by the time they reach age 65 and older, one in three people has some type of hearing impairment.
There are several causes. The main ones include excessive noise, genetics, birth defects, infections of the head or ear, aging, and reaction to drugs or cancer treatment. Each type of hearing loss has different causes.
Only 13 percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss. Since most people with hearing impairments hear just fine in quiet environments (like your doctor's office), it can be very difficult for your physician to recognize this problem. Only a trained hearing professional can determine the severity of your hearing problem, whether or not you could benefit from a hearing aid, and which type would be best for you.
Hearing loss can occur at any time, at any age. In fact, most people with hearing loss (65 percent) are younger than age 65! There are 6 million people in the US ages 18–44 with hearing loss, and around 1.5 million are school age.
Audiologists specialize in testing, evaluating and treating hearing loss. Hearing Aid Dispensers and Specialists are trained in fitting and dispensing hearing aids. Otolaryngologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, head and neck disorders.