Hearing Loss Fact Sheet

HEARING IS IMPORTANT
* Our hearing is integral to keeping us connected with the world around us, and to those we love
* Experiencing hearing loss can have a dramatic impact on our quality of life and overall well-being
WHO SUFFERS FROM HEARING LOSS
* Hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities that adults experience as they age
* 35–40 million Americans have hearing loss (65% have mild loss; 30% moderate; 5% profound)
* More than 60% of older adults have some degree of hearing loss
* Baby Boomers (ages 45–65) are developing hearing loss at a faster rate and younger age than previous generations
WHAT CAUSES HEARING LOSS
* Hearing loss is caused by age related deterioration, head or ear trauma, harm to the inner ear and ear drum, infections, medications and hereditary or congenital conditions, or noise exposure over time (street noise, loud appliances and toys, personal listening devices, concerts, etc.)
WHY HEARING LOSS IS OFTEN UNADDRESSED
* Hearing loss is generally a slow and insidious process
* Because deterioration occurs over a long period of time, people become accustomed to accommodating for the loss and may not realize it’s impact on their life
* Hearing loss sufferers usually wait an average of 5–7 years before seeing a specialist for help (during this time deterioration typically continues)
CONSEQUENCES OF UNTREATED HEARING LOSS
* A recent study by Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging found a correlation between untreated hearing loss and a loss of cognitive function, noting a higher risk of developing forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s (i.e. auditory stimulation is critical to maintaining healthy brain function)
* Untreated hearing loss can affect a person’s ability to understand speech, as well as negatively impact their social, emotional and physical well-being
* Many hearing loss sufferers self-isolate by withdrawing from family, friends and colleagues as their frustration grows
* Incidents of serious depression are higher in those with untreated hearing loss
HEARING LOSS PREVENTION
While hearing loss may be inevitable as a result of age, increased noise exposure or illness, there are steps that everyone can take in their daily lives to help prevent hearing loss and/or arrest continued decline. Limiting exposure to loud sound sources or actively using hearing protection can help prevent damage from taking place, or can prevent any losses from becoming worse.
For more information and/or to schedule a free hearing evaluation with our Audiologist, please call our office at (212) 879–2329.
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