Hearing Health Facts

The Facts

We’re getting back on track with our weekly posts, and we are happy to do so via our new wordpress blog!  All of the previous #WednesdayWisdom posts have been archived here, and all of our posts will include tags to make specific information easier to find.  We also realize that while most do, not everyone does have Facebook, so sharing is more inclusive on the blog.

We’re looking forward to continuing our journey together in the quest for a better understanding of hearing and in helping you to maintain your hearing health!

To kick things off, we thought we’d share a few facts and statistics:

  • FACT: 48 million Americans have a significant hearing loss.
  • FACT: Over 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents.
  • FACT: 14% of those ages 45-64 have some type of hearing loss
  • FACT: 15% of children between the ages of 6-19 have a measurable hearing loss in at least one ear.
  • FACT: Hearing loss occurs in 5 out of every 1,000 newborns.
  • FACT: Exposure to a noisy subway, for just 15 minutes a day overtime, can cause permanent damage to hearing over time.
  • FACT: Hearing aids can offer dramatic improvement for most people with hearing loss.
  • FACT: A mild hearing loss can cause a child to miss as much as 50% of classroom discussion.
  • FACT: Listening to an MP3 Player at high volumes over time can cause permanent damage to hearing.
  • FACT: With early identification and appropriate services, deaf children can develop communication skills at the same rate as their hearing peers.
  • FACT: Noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss.
  • FACT: Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 50 million people in the United States.
  • FACT: Babies are never too young to have their hearing tested.
  • FACT: Speech-reading is the more current word for lip-reading.
  • FACT: People with hearing loss wait an average of 7 years before seeking help.
  • FACT: Only 16% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss.
  • FACT: 15 million people in the United States with hearing loss avoid seeking help.
  • FACT: 1 out of 3 people over age 65 have some degree of hearing loss.
  • FACT: 2 out of 3 people over 75 have a hearing loss.
  • FACT: Approximately 3 million children in the U.S. have a hearing loss; 1.3 million of them are under the age of three.

Hearing loss affects 48 million people in the United States. Hearing loss can occur at birth or can develop at any age. There have been many advances in all aspects of hearing health care so that from the youngest infant to the eldest senior citizen, there are new and exciting options available to help. Treatment options vary depending on the degree or type of hearing loss, age of onset and individual lifestyle needs. If you suspect that you or a family member has a hearing loss, the best place to start is with a hearing evaluation by a licensed audiologist.

The two types of hearing loss

conductive hearing loss indicates that there is a problem with the mechanism that conducts sound from the environment to the inner ear. Problems in the external auditory canal (outer ear), ear drum or the bones of hearing (the middle ear) may cause a conductive loss. This type of loss can often be corrected by medication or surgery. If it cannot be corrected, the individual can usually do very well with a hearing aid.

sensorineural hearing loss indicates a problem in the organ of hearing or the nerve of hearing. There may be damage to the cochlea (inner ear), auditory nerve, or the auditory centers of the brain. An individual with a sensorineural hearing loss may benefit from a hearing aid, cochlear implant, communication therapies, other medical management depending on the degree of the loss or the cause of the loss.

A hearing evaluation consists of a number of tests to measure how well you hear. The test results are reported on a form called an audiogram.  Testing takes approximately fifteen minutes for adults and slightly longer for children (once they understand there are no shots involved, it’s all good!) Both adults and children are welcome to a lollipop after their test.

consumer-infographics-journey

Do you have a hearing health-related question or topic you’d like to read more about? Feel free to comment here and we’ll dedicate a post to it!

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