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Studies on Hearing Loss & Injuries

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Dr. Timothy Teague, AuD

Dr. Teague earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hearing, Speech and Language from Ohio University and his Doctoral Degree in Audiology from The University of Louisville. He is an active member of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Board of Audiology.
Dr. Timothy Teague, AuD

Latest posts by Dr. Timothy Teague, AuD (see all)

Prevalence and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

There are more than 466 million people worldwide that suffer from hearing loss, and 34 million of these are children. Studies estimate that by the year 2050, there will be over 900 million people with hearing disabilities. 60 percent of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes, undressed hearing loss poses an annual global loss of 750 billion dollars, which is why it’s important to identify the symptoms of hearing loss and work towards repairing or managing those symptoms. There are 3 different types of hearing loss, Conductive (outer or middle ear), Sensorineural(inner ear), and Mixed( inner and outer ear).

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Voices Sound Muffled

If you happen to notice your hearing becoming muffled or if you’re constantly adjusting the volume of your TV, you may be suffering from hearing loss. It may simply be caused by a build-up of ear wax, which can be remedied with ear drops, but you could also be experiencing the beginning stages of hearing loss. When you start to experience difficulty hearing a phone ring, the radio, or things that you would typically have no trouble hearing, you are more than likely experiencing hearing loss.

Trouble Understanding What People are Saying

When a person initially experiences hearing loss, they often have trouble hearing what other people are saying, which can lead to misinterpretations between you and who you’re speaking to. If you often mistake what other people are saying, you may be suffering from the beginning stages of hearing loss. You also may find yourself constantly asking others to repeat themselves, which is not only frustrating, but can make you feel uncomfortable as well. This is why many seniors who suffer from hearing loss often find themselves nodding or simply smiling when others are talking to them.

Difficulty Listening in Crowds

Another sign of hearing loss is, when you have difficulty following conversations in a group of people or amongst a crowd. If you notice yourself having trouble differentiating between who’s speaking, you could be suffering from the early stages of hearing loss.

Ringing in Ears

One of the most noticeable symptoms of hearing loss is tinnitus, which is a ringing in the ear. Tinnitus is especially common in hearing loss related to noise damage, which can be caused by obsessive loud noises such as construction, the sound of a gun firing, or simply by having your headphones turned up too loudly. If you notice a ringing in your ear, you should make an appointment with an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist and have your hearing evaluated immediately.

Studies on Injuries Related to Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is more than just an inconvenience; it can also cause injury or jeopardize your life. For example, if your home happens to catch on fire, you may not hear the smoke alarm go off, which is why there are now smoke alarms equipped with strobe lights, along with shakers to alert you when danger is near. Hearing loss can also impair your ability to hear a tornado sirens or if a neighbor is calling for help. If you begin to feel you’re losing your ability to hear loud of soft dangers, this can put yourself and your family at risk. A study that involved 232 million US adults (51%) determined that accidental injuries occurred in 2.8% of survey respondents.

Hearing Loss Treatment with Hearing Aids

One of the most common types of hearing loss treatment is being fitted with hearing aids, which can often full restore a person’s hearing. A hearing aid is a small electronic device that is inserted behind your ear, which amplifies sounds. It can slow cognitive decline, reduce tinnitus, and increase your quality of life. There are more than 28 million U.S. adults that could benefit from hearing aids, which can improve mild to moderate hearing loss.

The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss

If you’re a person who suffers from hearing loss, you should have it evaluated immediately and get back to living your life. Having your hearing loss treated will drastically improve your ability to communicate with others, along with improving your psychological well-being. Untreated hearing loss can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and isolation, which can eventually develop into Alzheimer’s or dementia. Having your hearing treated will also help you stay connected and aware of your surroundings, which can improve your safety, both at home and outdoors.