Hearing Loss


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Hearing Loss

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Hearing Loss

Do You Have Hearing Loss?

Often, individuals with untreated hearing loss develop coping methods to avoid addressing the issue, such as turning up the volume on their devices or avoiding noisy environments to better hear the people around them. The small sounds they once could hear are no longer noticeable. 

Hearing loss can occur gradually over time, and it’s important to act as soon as you notice that your hearing may be changing. Seeing a professional when hearing loss symptoms are minor is critical because it can lead to better adaptation to hearing aids and other devices and it may help prevent or slow the onset of other conditions like depression and cognitive decline. A hearing healthcare professional can present options based on your lifestyle and needs.

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Reasons to Suspect Hearing Loss

  • You have a family history of hearing loss
  • You have been repeatedly exposed to high noise levels
  • You feel like "everybody mumbles" or "people don't speak as clearly as they used to"
  • You feel nervous, tension, irritability, or fatigue from the effort it takes to hear
  • You find yourself straining to understand conversations and watching people’s faces intently when you are listening
  • You frequently misunderstand or need to have things repeated
  • You increase the audio volume on devices (television, radio, or phone) to a point that others complain about the loudness
  • You have/had diabetes, heart, thyroid, or circulation problems; recurring ear infections; constant or intermittent ringing in the ears; dizziness; or exposure to ototoxic drugs or medications.

Myths & Facts About Hearing Loss

Myth: “Hearing loss only affects my ears.”

Hearing loss can affect everyone of all ages and the truth is hearing loss does not just affect your hearing ability. A 2022 study found that people with hearing loss wearing hearing devices performed 3% better on cognitive scores in the short term, and saw a 19% reduction in long term cognitive decline.1 Hearing loss has also been associated with isolation, depression, falls, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other healthcare conditions.

Fact: “Visiting a qualified hearing healthcare professional is the best way to address my hearing loss and make a wise investment for my health.”

A hearing healthcare professional can help you understand your unique hearing loss and determine the best course of care based on the outcome of your hearing evaluation, your lifestyle, and your long-term needs. A hearing healthcare professional can also help you find the right device(s) for your budget that are customized for you. 

Myth: “Hearing loss only affects you as you age.”

The truth is there are many causes of hearing loss that can affect people at any age. It can occur due to exposure to loud noise, illness, medications, smoking, diabetes, aging or genetics. Noise exposure is the most preventable cause of hearing loss and can occur in everyday life, including work environments such as manufacturing, construction, and any environment that uses heavy machinery.

NIHWorld Health Organization
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) consider sounds at or below 70 decibels (the volume of office noise, shower, or dishwasher) to be safe for human hearing. Any sounds above 85 decibels for an extended time can contribute to permanent noise-induced hearing loss. 

A hair dryer or a power lawnmower is around 90 decibels.

An ambulance siren is 120 decibels.

A jet engine is around 130 decibels.

Fact: “On average, people wait 4 years before seeking help for their hearing loss.”

Research conducted by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA) found that, on average, people wait four years before acting on their hearing loss after they notice there may be an issue. There are many reasons people wait to find treatment, and 4 years is too long. Because hearing loss can be gradual, it may be hard to notice at first. Hearing loss often starts with the loss of higher pitched sounds that can go unnoticed (like birds chirping), and that creates a perception of normal hearing. It’s important to get regular hearing checks, so you can act sooner rather than when symptoms are much worse.

Myth: “Hearing aids make you look old.”

The stigma is gone! Earbuds, headphones, and other sound amplifiers that fit in your ear are now commonly used by people - young and old - in day-to-day life. In fact, wearing an earbud in your ear can even be seen as trendy and stylish. Many hearing aids closely resemble them. Other hearing aid options can be nearly invisible to someone looking at your ear. Check out the various types of hearing aids here.

Ask a Hearing Professional


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How can a hearing aid specialist help my hearing loss?

“...Hearing aid specialists are hearing healthcare professionals - licensed and trained to perform comprehensive hearing evaluations. After a thorough evaluation, hearing aid specialists recommend and customize a solution, which may include a hearing device or other technology or counseling a solution unique to you…” 

– Patrick Kochanowski, BC, ACA, BC-HIS
Miracle-Ear Hearing Aid Center in Lower Burrell, PA, USA


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Is a hearing aid the only solution that a hearing aid specialist can recommend?

“Hearing loss is different for every person like your fingerprints are different than anyone else's…A hearing aid specialist can tell you if a hearing aid will help your unique hearing situation.” 

– Leanne Polhill, BA, BC-HIS
Encore Hearing Care in Port Orange, FL, USA


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How does hearing loss affect someone? And can hearing aids really help?

“...Sometimes withdrawing from conversation. Sometimes it's just change in their personality. A lot of times they become a completely different individual...Hearing aids bring people back into the fold of life...” 

– Michael Andreozzi, BC-HIS
Beltone New England in Warwick, RI, USA

1. Yeo BSY, Song HJJMD, Toh EMS, et al. Association of Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants With Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Neurol. Published online December 05, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2022.4427