Over 10% of the U.S. population reports difficulty hearing. That is more than 31 million people that have hearing loss!
Some statistics associated with hearing loss:
- 1 in 6 baby boomers (41-59 years old) have a self-reported hearing problem.
- 1 in 14 individuals ages 29-40 have a hearing loss.
- 1.4 million children in the United States have a hearing impairment.
There have been several University-based studies that link untreated hearing loss to emotional, mental, physical, and psychological issues which can contribute to early onset dementia and alzheimers.
Types of Hearing Loss
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss - The most common form of hearing loss. The nerve of hearing begins to degrade over time due to several factors listed below:
- age - presbycusis (onset of this type of loss is typically in a person's late 50's and can progress over time).
- noise exposure
- genetic factors - congenital deformities of the auditory nerve.
- medication complications - ototoxicity
- trauma - skull-base fractures
- tumors - acoustic neuromas
- auto-immune disorders
- meniere's disease (cochlear hydrops) - inner ear fluid disorder
- wax (cerumen) impaction
- congenital narrowing of the external auditory canal
- infection ("swimmer's ear", otitis media)
- inflammation of the ear drum (myringitis)
- perforated ear drum
- fluid (i.e. effusion)
- erosion of the bones of the middle ear (ossicles) due to chronic infection
- fixation of the bones of the middle ear (i.e. ossicular fixation or otosclerosis).