World Hearing Day | Hearing Loss in Adults

03 March 2017 - By GENWORKS

Although hearing loss is often associated with aging, hearing loss is clearly present in newborns, children, teenagers, young adults and adults. Healthy human ears can perceive an enormous range of sounds in terms of pitch and loudness and it is a vital link for communicating with others.

As we age, our ears are exposed to a lifetime of noises such as lawnmowers, telephones, industrial machinery, leaf blowers, chain saws, industrial noise, hair dryers, weapons, and recorded and live music. Many of these sounds occur at loud and potentially injurious levels. Although some people are born with hearing loss, most acquire hearing loss later in life. Causes for acquired hearing loss include a genetic predisposition, ear disease, noise exposure (including music, industrial, military and more), ototoxic medicines, head trauma, and others.

Impact of Hearing Loss

People with untreated hearing loss (people with hearing loss who do not wear hearing aids) experience a decreased quality of life. Untreated hearing loss has been shown to cause sadness, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and poor social relationships. People with untreated hearing loss may have a difficult time in their careers—often earning thousands of dollars less than their hearing peers. However, the difference in wages between people with untreated and treated hearing loss is reduced by half, when people wear hearing aids.

Do you have a hearing loss?
  • Do you often feel that people are mumbling or not speaking clearly?
  • Do you often misunderstand what has been said to you?
  • Do you find it difficult to follow conversation in a noisy restaurant or crowded room?
  • Do you experience ringing noises in your ears?
  • Do you hear better with one ear than with the other?
  • Have you been exposed regularly to loud noise at work, during recreation or in military service?
  • Do you often ask people to speak up or repeat?
  • Do people tell you that you play the TV or radio too loudly?
  • Do you sometimes fail to hear your doorbell or telephone?
  • Do you find it difficult to understand a speaker at a public meeting or religious service?

If you answered YES to two or more of the above questions, you may have some hearing loss.