Facts About Hearing Loss

Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. ƒ
*More than half of the people with hearing loss are younger than age 65. ƒ
*Untreated hearing loss can affect your ability to understand speech and can negatively impact your social and emotional well-being—hearing impairment can decrease your quality of life! ƒ
*Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States. ƒ

 Signs you may have a hearing loss: ƒ
*Difficulty hearing people talk in noisy environments such as a restaurant, shopping mall, in a car, or at the movie theater. ƒ
*People seem to “mumble” all the time. ƒ
*Family, friends, or colleagues often have to repeat themselves when speaking with you. ƒ
*You have trouble hearing people when they are not facing you or are in another room. ƒ
*You have trouble following conversations. ƒ
* You have ringing, buzzing, or hissing sounds in your ears. ƒ

What causes hearing loss? ƒ
*Exposure to excessive loud noise. ƒ
* Ear infections, trauma, or ear disease. ƒ
*Damage to the inner ear and ear drum from contact with a foreign object (cotton swabs, bobby pins, etc.) . ƒ
*Illness or certain medications. ƒ
*Deteriorating hearing due to the normal aging process. ƒ

How to protect your hearing: ƒ
*Wear hearing protection when around sounds louder than 85 dB for a long period of time. There are different types of hearing protection such as foam earplugs, earmuffs and custom hearing protection devices. Contact your local audiologist for custom hearing protection devices. ƒ
*Turn down the volume when listening to the radio, the TV, MP3 player, or anything through ear buds and headphones. (Visit www.TurnItToTheLeft.com) ƒ
*Walk away from the noise. ƒ
*And, other than hearing protection, do not put anything in your ear!

For more information on audiology and hearing loss, visit www.HowsYourHearing.org.

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