Hearing Loss

"A hearing aid is less conspicuous than your hearing loss"

Facts about Hearing Loss

  • Hearing loss is second only to arthritis as the most common complaint of older adults
  • Only about 10% of hearing losses are helped by surgery or other medical treatment
  • 90% of hearing losses can be treated with the use of hearing instruments
  • Only 16% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss
  • Noise above 80-90 decibels on average over an 8-hour workday is considered hazardous
  • Firearms, music, airplanes, lawnmowers, power tools and many appliances are louder than 80 decibels and potentially hazardous to hearing with prolonged exposure
  • A live rock concert produces sounds from 110 to 120 decibels-easily high enough to cause permanent damage to hearing over a 2- to 3-hour period

Common signs of Hearing Loss

  • You may hear but not understand people
  • You may have difficulty understanding radio, television or public address systems
  • You need to watch a person's lips in order to understand
  • You find yourself asking people to repeat what they have said
  • You may pretend to understand
  • You may avoid people and isolate yourself
  • You may find it emotionally and physically exhausting to communicate
  • It appears that you are the only one who has these difficulties

Consequences of Hearing Loss

  • The emotional consequences are anxiety, depression, negativism, irritability, embarrassment, frustration, anger, low self-esteem, and impatience
  • The social consequences are avoidance, silence, rejection, loss of intimacy, boredom, withdrawal, misunderstandings, conflict, and misinformation
  • The physical consequences are indigestion, tension, headaches, high blood pressure, fatigue, heart disease, low tolerance for loud noises, and endangerment

How to get Help:

  • Having your hearing evaluated by an audiologist is the first step in determining if a hearing loss is present.
  • If hearing aids are appropriate for you the audiologist will help you select the hearing aids that will best meet your personal needs. If the audiologist recommends a visit with the doctor, then we will be glad to schedule an appointment with one of our CENTA physicians for further evaluation.

Information Websites:

  1. Better Hearing Institute of Health  - www.betterhearing.org
  2. National Institute of Health (Hearing and Balance) - www.nidcd.nih.gov/health
  3. Hearing Loss Association of America (formerly Self help for Hard of Hearing People) - www.hearingloss.org