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How do I know if I have hearing loss?

Hearing loss occurs to most people as they age. Hearing loss can be due to aging, exposure to loud noise, medications, infections, head or ear trauma, congenital or hereditary factors, disease processes and other causes. The vast majority of hearing problems do not require medical or surgical intervention. More than 90 percent of all cases of hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids.

There are approximately 30 million people in the US with hearing loss, and experts say hearing loss is on the rise. Hearing loss is the single most common birth defect in America. Approximately one third of all seniors aged 75 years and older have significant hearing loss. About 14 percent of all people aged 45 to 64 years have demonstrable hearing loss. Hearing loss negatively impacts quality of life, personal relationships and of course, the ability to communicate.

You may have hearing loss if...

  • You hear people speaking but you strain to understand their words.

  • You frequently ask people to repeat what they said.

  • You don’t laugh at jokes because you miss part of the story or the punch line.

  • You perceive that "people mumble" while others hear them clearly.

  • You ask others about details of a meeting you just attended.

  • You play the TV or radio louder than friends, spouse and relatives.

  • You cannot hear the doorbell or hear clearly on the telephone.

  • You find that when people look directly at you while they speak to you, it makes it easier to understand.

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