Hearing Loss Overview

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Hearing loss is likely more common than you expect

An estimated 48 million, or 15% of the population, have some degree of hearing loss. The third most common chronic medical condition people experience today, hearing loss is a pervasive health concern. 

Though it is a prevalent condition, hearing loss tends to be underdiagnosed. It takes an average of 7 years for people to address their hearing health from the time they first start experiencing symptoms. Being able to recognize the signs of hearing loss can help you intervene early. Seeking treatment not only improves hearing but offers countless benefits that can transform daily life.

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss, accounting for nearly 90% of all hearing loss that is experienced, is permanent while conductive hearing loss is often temporary.


What Causes Hearing Loss?

A range of factors can contribute to the development of hearing loss. Common causes include the following:
Other causes of hearing loss include head/neck injuries, inner ear disorders, autoimmune conditions, and chronic ear infections.

Common Hearing Loss Symptoms

Hearing loss reduces the capacity to detect and process sound. This produces a range of symptoms that strain communication. This includes:
  • Tinnitus: a ringing, buzzing, or clicking-like noise heard in one or both ears
  • Sound is distorted, muffled, slurred
  • Increasing the volume on the television or other electronic devices
  • Asking others to speak louder or repeat something they said
  • Lip reading to distinguish words
  • Difficulty identifying individual words, hearing in environments with background noise, having conversations with multiple people
  • Missing parts of a conversation, having a hard time following along
  • Feeling exhausted after social interactions and spending time with others
These symptoms can be experienced from mild to severe depending on the degree of impaired hearing. This makes conversations difficult and laborious to engage in which often leads to social withdrawal. If you recognize any of these symptoms, it is important to have your hearing assessed and treated.
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