Did you know hearing loss can affect people of all ages, from infants, to adolescents, to the elderly? Here are five more facts about hearing loss that may surprise you:
1. 360 million people worldwide have hearing loss, according to a 2013 United Nations World Health Organization(WHO) study. One in five Americans suffer from hearing loss, and one in six baby boomers are affected. For people over the age of 60 that number is one in three!
2. There are three main types of hearing loss: Conductive hearing loss stems from problems with the ear canal, ear drum or middle ear and its tiny bones (the malleus, the incus and stapes). There’s also sensorineural or nerve-related hearing loss, which is hearing loss that results from problems with the inner ear. In addition, people can also suffer from mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
3. One of the major causes of hearing loss among Americans is exposure to noise. When exposed to loud sounds, tiny hair cells in the ear are damaged. Once the hair cells are destroyed, there is no way to replace them. Repeated exposure to loud noise should be avoided!
4. One in eight children have permanent hearing loss due to high volume sounds. In the last decade alone, hearing loss in teens has risen 30 percent! Common activities, like listening to music in ear buds at a high volume could be responsible for this increase. Another reminder to Listen Carefully!
5. Hearing loss occurs in five out of every 1,000 newborns. Simple genetics could be responsible in some cases.