Facts About Hearing Loss

hearing lossFor personalized service with a compassionate touch, visit the Audiologists of Harbor Audiology in Gig Harbor and Tacoma, Washington. Our small size allows us to devote the necessary time and attention to your hearing loss needs.

Hearing loss is a growing problem in the United States. Don’t assume you aren’t at risk to develop hearing loss. Here are some facts you may not know about this debilitating condition:

  • About 12% of the U.S. population (about 38 million Americans) suffer from significant hearing loss.
  • Over 90% of deaf children have parents that can hear.
  • In adults over age 65, about 30-40% of the population suffers from hearing loss.
  • 14% of adults age 45-64 experience hearing loss in some way.
  • In children ages 6-19, 15% of the population has measurable hearing loss in at least one ear.
  • 5 out of every 1,000 newborns will have hearing loss.
  • Exposure to noisy situations, such as traffic, even for 15 minutes a day, over time, can cause permanent damage to hearing.
  • Even mild hearing loss can cause a child to miss as much as 50% of a discussion in the classroom.
  • Listening to MP3 players at high volume is damaging to your hearing. The damage accumulates over time.
  • When deafness is identified early with appropriate services, studies show deaf children can develop communication skills at the same rate as their hearing peers.
  • About 50 million people in the United States are affected by Tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
  • People who suffer from hearing loss wait an average of 7 years before they choose to seek help.
  • Regular screenings for hearing loss are uncommon, with 16% of physicians reporting that this is part of their repertoire.
  • Hearing aids can dramatically improve most types of hearing loss.


Hearing loss, an increasingly prevalent issue in the United States, can impact anyone regardless of age, lifestyle, or background. It’s crucial not to underestimate your vulnerability to this condition. Unveiling a world of hidden nuances, hearing loss affects not only our ability to perceive sound but also our social interactions, emotional well-being, and cognitive functions. Here are some lesser-known facts that shed light on the complexity of this often-debilitating condition:

Varied Causes:

While age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, is common, it’s essential to recognize that hearing impairment can stem from numerous factors. These include prolonged exposure to loud noises, genetic predisposition, certain medical conditions (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease), ototoxic medications, and even infections.

Invisible Impact:

The gradual onset of hearing loss can be deceiving. People might not be aware of their diminishing hearing abilities until the condition becomes significantly problematic. This emphasizes the importance of regular hearing screenings, especially for those exposed to risk factors.

Cognitive Connection:

Research has unveiled a strong correlation between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline. Struggling to hear and communicate effectively can lead to increased cognitive load, potentially contributing to conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Emotional Toll:

Beyond the physical implications, hearing loss can take a toll on one’s emotional well-being. Feelings of isolation, frustration, and anxiety often accompany the inability to engage fully in conversations and social gatherings.

Tailored Solutions:

Hearing aids have come a long way, evolving into sophisticated devices that cater to diverse needs. Modern hearing aids are discreet, technologically advanced, and can be fine-tuned to address specific types and degrees of hearing loss.

Lifestyle Adjustment:

Adapting to life with hearing loss involves more than wearing a hearing aid. Audiologists play a vital role in guiding individuals through the process of acclimatization, communication strategies, and techniques to navigate challenging auditory environments.

Pediatric Considerations:

Children are not immune to hearing loss. Early detection and intervention are crucial for their speech, language, and cognitive development. Pediatric audiologists specialize in assessing and addressing hearing issues in young patients.

Preventive Measures:

Protecting your hearing health is a proactive step. Using ear protection in noisy environments, keeping the volume at a reasonable level when using headphones, and incorporating a healthy lifestyle are all factors that contribute to maintaining optimal auditory function.

Get Help

Harbor Audiology is your hearing healthcare expert, serving the areas of Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, Tacoma, Lakewood, and Puyallup, Washington.

Hearing loss can affect your quality of life and can take away from special time with loved ones. To learn more about getting help for your hearing loss, or to share information with someone you care about, please contact us at our Gig Harbor, Tacoma and Silverdale, Washington locations.

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