hearing loss information

Hearing Loss Information

The Prevalence Of Hearing Loss in America

In the United States, hearing loss is the third most common medical condition. Though hearing loss affects 48 million Americans of all ages, the
majority of people who experience hearing loss are age 65 and older. In fact, one in three people over 65, and one in two people over 75, experience some degree of hearing loss.

In the workforce, 60% of people experience some degree of hearing loss. The United States Department of Labor estimates that approximately 30 million people are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise each year. For the past 25 years, noise-related hearing loss has been listed as one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Similarly, the US Department of Veterans Affairs reports that 60% of veterans returning from combat zones experience some degree of hearing loss or tinnitus. Approximately 59,000 military members are on disability from hearing loss from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. Optimum Audiology is proud to be an official provider of hearing services to veterans in Victorville, La Verne and surrounding areas in California.

Early Signs of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss may be present for an average of seven years before people decide to take a hearing test or to seek treatment. The signs of hearing loss may appear slowly, or they may come about suddenly, depending on the form of hearing loss. Hearing specialists believe that seeking treatment sooner, rather than later, is beneficial not only to one’s hearing but to one’s overall well-being.

Early signs of hearing loss include: asking people to repeat themselves; having difficulty following conversations; thinking that people are mumbling or that their voices are muffled; having difficulty hearing in noisy situations, such as restaurants or malls; turning up the volume on TV and radio; avoiding social situations; and experiencing balance problems and/or increased levels of stress and anxiety.

Types and Causes of Hearing Loss

There are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. Each type is caused by different factors.

Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear and interferes with the process by which the brain registers and hears sounds. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by exposure to loud noise, aging (presbycusis), malformation of the inner ear, genetic hearing loss, virus, head trauma, Meniere’s disease, or otosclerosis.

Conductive hearing loss affects the outer and middle parts of the ear, by which sound waves enter the ear. It is caused when there are problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or the malleus, incus, and stapes bones of the middle ear. Conductive hearing loss may be caused by congenital conditions, ear infection, fluid in the middle ear, poor Eustachian tube function, benign tumors, perforation in the eardrum, or impacted earwax.

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, affecting various parts of the ear.

Identifying and Treating Hearing Loss

audiologist victorville-ca-kristi-mendoza

Dr. Kristi Mendoza of Optimum Audiology

If you believe that you, or your loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, the first step is to make an appointment with us at Optimum Audiology.

During your appointment, Dr. Kristi Mendoza will administer a comprehensive hearing exam, which is a painless and noninvasive way of evaluating your hearing ability. From the results of your hearing exam, she may recommend a solution to improve your hearing and reconnect you to the sounds of your life.

Click HERE to listen to Dr. Mendoza discuss hearing loss on the Smart Health Radio Show hosted by Dr. Glenn.

Are you experiencing signs of hearing loss
like tinnitus or balance problems?

Signs of hearing loss include tinnitus, balance disorders, withdrawal from social situations and more. If you are experiencing these or other signs of hearing impairment, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our experienced audiologist, Dr. Mendoza.

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