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Hearing Loss Information

Learn about the types of hearing loss, prevention, and treatment.

About Hearing Loss

The Hearing Loss Association of America estimates that 1 in 5 American adults has some degree of hearing loss, and research shows that the cost of not hearing is actually greater than the cost of hearing aids.

It's important to get the facts on hearing loss, hearing loss treatment, and help for other hearing health issues like tinnitus.

one out of five adults in America suffer from some degree of hearing loss


There are many causes of hearing loss. Some of us are more likely to develop it sooner than others, due to both genetics and external aspects of our lifestyles.

There are a few different types of hearing loss and they can manifest from any one or combination of these factors:

  • Aging: We all get older, there's just no fighting it. The natural deterioration of hair cells in our ears is the most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss.
  • Genetic factors: Hearing loss can sometimes be hereditary.
  • Regular exposure to loud noises: People that work in industrial settings such as a construction site or members of the military have a higher likeliness to developed a noise-induced hearing loss. Read about the top 20 loudest jobs here.
  • Illnesses and prior conditions: Diseases and conditions including multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and Ménière's disease, among others, can all be linked to hearing loss. 
  • Types of medication/drugs: A side-effect of some medications, typically otoxic drugs, as well as chemotherapy may affect the ear's nervous system, resulting in temporary or permanent damage.
  • Head trauma: Impact injuries to the ear or the head can generate different degrees of sensorineural hearing loss.


Depending on the cause and severity,  some symptoms of hearing loss are more recognizable than others. More often than not, hearing loss occurs gradually as we age.

Maybe you played in a band or worked in a bustling city, maybe you loved going to rock concerts or have a preexisting condition that affects your hearing. It's all a part of living life, and the most important thing is to prevent it from getting worse. Here are some common signs to look out for:

  • Unable to hear clearly in a loud restaurant/bar
  • Difficulty hearing a conversation with multiple people speaking
  • Tendency to avoid social settings
  • Asking other to repeat themselves often (this is okay by the way, don't make someone feel bad for asking you to repeat something)

Is Hearing Loss Aging you?

Although commonly perceived as just a normal side effect of aging, studies show that people with hearing loss run a greater risk of experiencing cognitive decline and dementia.

Treatment can help fend off these age-related conditions and 4 out of 5 test subjects who were rehabilitated from profound deafness showed significant improvements in cognitive test scores.

How to Know

The signs and symptoms of hearing loss can be hard to spot. How would you know if you're one of the 20 percent of Americans that report some degree of hearing loss?

Hearing loss can affect anyone at any age. It is important to have your hearing checked to find out what can be done to help with your current loss, to prevent it from getting worse.

Sounds to Listen Up For

If these sound like familiar situations, then you likely have some degree of hearing loss.

  • Outdoors

Do you miss the sound of birds chirping in the morning? Do leaves no longer crunch under your feet?

  • At Work

Does your boss claim to have told you something that you never heard? Is it hard to follow along at meetings? Do you have difficulty hearing when you talk on the phone?

  • At a Restaurant

Does the background noise bother you? Is it hard to hear what your friend is saying? Do you have to ask waiters to repeat themselves?

  • At Home

Does your spouse complain that the TV or car radio is too loud? Do you not hear the phone ringing or a knock on the door?

  • At a Concert

Does music sound differently than it did before? Is it hard to hear higher pitches like flutes and soprano voices?