Facts about Hearing Loss
Facts and Figures of Hearing Loss:
- 800 million people around the world are affected by hearing loss.
- It is estimated that this number will rise to 1.1 billion by 2015. This is about 16% of the world's population.
- 65% of people with hearing loss experience a mild loss, 30% a moderate loss, and 5% a severe to profound loss.
- Only about 1/3 of all people with hearing loss are of retirement age. The majority of people are of school or working age.
- 1 in 5 people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually use one.
- On average people with hearing loss wait almost 10 years before they actually do something about it.
Are There Consequences if You Do Not Take Care of Your Hearing loss?
There are some consequences. It is apparent that many areas of everyday life become difficult. Conversations with loved ones, meetings, phone calls, and TV can become challenging. Many times people with hearing loss become withdrawn and socially isolated. Their quality of life diminishes.
People with hearing loss who do not pursue help, experience more sadness, fear, and anxiety than people who use hearing aids. Their social activities become reduced, they become emotionally unstable and have trouble concentrating. Studies have also shown that if hearing loss is not corrected, it physically can result in fatigue, tiredness, headaches, vertigo, and stress.
Research has shown that people who pursue hearing aids and wear them, experience a dramatic increase in their quality of life. They notice improvement immediately. They maintain better relationships, they are more confident, and they experience more independence and security. They become more involved, stay active, and participate fully in the things they enjoy.
How do We Get Hearing Loss? What Causes Hearing Loss?
It is hard to determine what exactly causes hearing loss. An in depth history and the results of a hearing test can better determine the cause of hearing loss. Most hearing losses are age-induced or noise-induced. Age-induced loss is the most common. Another name for it is presbycusis. It is a gradual deterioration of hair cells, which is part of the normal aging process. The degree to which we lose hair cells varies person to person. Some people will experience a significant loss by age 50, while others have no loss at age 80. Hearing problems caused by presbycusis can be easily remedied by the correct hearing device.
A second type of loss is noise-induced loss. It is caused by acoustic trauma or exposure to excessive noise for long periods of time. This causes damage to both inner and outer hair cells of the cochlea. People with this type of loss, usually have difficulty hearing high frequency sounds (such as women and children's voices, birds and TV), but hear quite well in the low frequencies. This hearing loss, as well, can be controlled by the right hearing devices.
If neither of these are the cause of your hearing loss, things such as skull fractures, middle ear problems, or certain types of medication can cause hearing loss and can be addressed with the right hearing device.
How do I Determine if I Have Hearing Loss?
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if you, a friend, or a loved one have hearing loss.
- Are you withdrawing from conversations?
- Do you feel frustrated trying to communicate in group situations?
- Are you limiting your social life or modifying it in any way?
- Is your family having to step in and tell you what people are saying or are they answering for you? Are they getting annoyed?
- Do people sound like they are mumbling or talking softly?
- Is the TV loud?
- If your hearing was improved, how would life/things be different for you?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, there is a possibility you, a friend, or a loved one does have hearing loss. Schedule a hearing evaluation to learn if you have hearing loss. Your life, a friend, or a loved one does not have to struggle. It can be improved immediately with help.