Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

What is hearing loss?

Hearing loss affects millions
of adults in the U.S. Many things can harm hearing. Conditions that help lead to hearing
loss include a ringing or buzzing in the ear (tinnitus), age-related hearing loss
(presbycusis), and hereditary causes. Older adults are the largest group affected by
hearing loss. This can happen from:

  • Too much noise
  • Certain medicines
  • Infections caused by bacteria or viruses
  • Head injury
  • Head tumors
  • Stroke
  • Inherited conditions

One in 3 older adults over age 60 has hearing loss. Nearly half of people ages 75
to 85 have hearing loss.

Treatment for hearing loss

In some people, hearing loss can be
corrected with surgery. For others, medical devices and rehab therapies often can help
reduce hearing loss.

To find what’s causing your hearing
loss, and how to manage it, see your healthcare provider for a complete exam. If you
think you have hearing loss, answer these questions:

  • Do you have a problem hearing
    when you’re on the phone?

  • Do you have trouble following
    the conversation when 2 or more people are talking at the same time?

  • Do people complain that you
    turn the TV volume up too high?

  • Do you have to strain to
    understand conversation?

  • Do you have trouble hearing
    in a noisy background?

  • Do you find yourself asking
    people to repeat themselves?

  • Do many people you talk to
    seem to mumble or not speak clearly?

  • Do you misunderstand what
    others are saying and respond inappropriately?

  • Do you have trouble
    understanding when women and children talk?

  • Do people get annoyed because
    you misunderstand what they say?

  • Do friends or relatives express concern about your hearing
    ability?
  • Do you hear a ringing,
    roaring, or hissing sound a lot?   

If you answered yes to 3 or more of
these questions, you may want to see a healthcare provider. You can see an ear, nose,
and throat doctor (ENT or otolaryngologist) or an audiologist for a hearing
assessment.