Many people suffer from hearing loss…
In fact, over 10% of the U.S. population reports difficulty hearing. That’s more than 31 million people! That number will continue to rise as the Baby Boomer Generation ages and our love for listening to music through MP3 players continue.
Are you one of those millions of people who does not hear as well as they once did? If so, you are certainly not alone. Consider these statistics reported by Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Better Hearing Institute:
- 3 in 10 people over age 60 have hearing loss;
- 1 in 6 baby boomers (ages 48-66), or 14.6%, have a hearing problem;
- 1 in 14 Generation Xers (ages 30-47), or 7.4%, already have hearing loss;
- At least 1.4 million children (18 or younger) have hearing problems;
- It is estimated that 3 in 1,000 infants are born with serious to profound hearing loss.
In addition, studies have linked untreated hearing loss to emotional, physical, and social decline. You are twice as likely to suffer from dementia if your hearing loss is not identified and treated. Hearing loss can even put you at an economic disadvantage by impacting your earning potential by as much as $20,000 annually.
Causes of Hearing Loss
One of the most common “myths” about hearing loss is that only “old people” suffer from it. In fact, the reverse is true! The majority (65%) of people with hearing loss are younger than 65 and six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 suffer from hearing loss (Better Hearing Institute).
The primary causes of hearing loss are:
- Family history of hearing loss
- Exposure to noise
- Aging process
- Head trauma
Types of Hearing Loss
The type of hearing loss you have will determine the specific treatment required. Less than 20% of hearing loss is able to be treated with surgery or medication. This means a large majority of our patients are excellent hearing aid candidates and would benefit significantly from today’s technology.
There are four major types of hearing loss:
- Conductive: This includes hearing loss due to problems with the ear canal or middle ear space. This can be anything from wax build up to fluid in the middle ear.
- Sensorineural: This is caused when tiny hairs in the cochlea are missing or damaged. This is most often due to your genetics, your age or noise exposure.
- Mixed: This is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
- Central: Strokes and central nerve diseases are often the cause of this type of hearing loss