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Myths about Hearing Loss

I'll just have some minor surgery like my friend did, and then my hearing will be okay.

Many people know someone whose hearing improved after medical or surgical treatment. It's true that some types of hearing loss can be successfully treated. With adults, unfortunately, this only applies to 5-10% of cases.

I have one ear that's down a little, but the other one's okay.

Types and Degrees of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is more common than most people realize. And it can affect anyone at any time in their life.

If you think you or a loved one may have hearing loss, or if you’ve recently been diagnosed, you likely have questions.

Below is some basic information to help you better understand the several types and degrees of hearing loss.

Signs of Hearing Loss

The signs of hearing loss can be subtle and emerge slowly, or early signs of hearing loss can be significant and come about suddenly. Either way, there are common indications and hearing impaired signs. You should suspect hearing loss if you experience any of the signs below.

You might have hearing loss if you . . .

Socially:

Prevalence of Hearing Loss

In order to gauge the number of people with hearing loss in the United States, 80,000 members of the National Family Opinion (NFO) panel were surveyed. This survey, which has been funded by a sponsor of BHI since 1989, is published under the name "MarkeTrak". The NFO panel is representative of U.S. households.

Consequences of Hearing Loss

Many people are aware that their hearing has deteriorated but are reluctant to seek help. Perhaps they don't want to acknowledge the problem, are embarrassed by what they see as a weakness, or believe that they can "get by" without using a hearing aid. And, unfortunately, too many wait years, even decades, to address the effects of hearing loss before getting treatment.

How We Hear

Patricia E. Connelly, PhD, CCC-A, FAAA, New Jersey Medical School, NEWARK, NJ

The Hearing System

The anatomy of the hearing system can be divided into four components for our convenience in remembering the parts and associating these parts with their function. These divisions are the:

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