4 Things to Know About Hearing Loss

Couple sharing earphones

Research shows people expect to experience hearing loss as they age. Some think it’s connected to genetics, while others believe hearing problems occur gradually throughout life.

Medical professionals report there are many reasons why people may lose their hearing. Here are four things to know about hearing loss:

1. Occurs gradually – Over a series of months or years, hearing quality may diminish. Most people fail to notice the difference and adjust to the change. Medical professionals discovered that sometimes people who notice hearing changes won’t talk about the problem. They believe clunky hearing aids are the only treatment option, and don’t want others to know their hearing is impaired.

2. Many causes – Hearing loss may result from experiences, lifestyle choices or family history, such as the following:

• Exposure to loud noises
• Cigarette or tobacco smoking
• Side effect of prescription medications

3. Could be age – Age-related hearing loss is called presbycusis. It’s often diagnosed when people lose the ability to hear high-frequency sounds, such as those commonly found in conversations, especially consonants s, t, k, p and f.

• People diagnosed with presbycusis report they can hear men’s voices more clearly than women’s.
• Conversing with others, especially in social settings, is difficult because voices sound muffled or slurred.

4. Treatment options – There isn’t a cure for hearing loss, but there are many treatment options available to improve hearing quality. Schedule a hearing exam with your physician or audiologist to determine the source and extent of hearing loss. Several treatment choices may be available, such as invisible hearing aids, so you can continue to enjoy life and participate in conversations with family and friends.

Hearing Loss Association of America
U.S. National Library of Medicine – MedlinePlus