Understanding hearing loss

Signs, types & experts who can help

Hearing health is vital to a person’s overall well-being. According to the World Health Organization (WHO)* more than 5 percent of the world’s population, approximately 466 million people, have disabling hearing loss - of which 34 million are children. The numbers also show that on average people with hearing loss wait as long as 10 years before seeking help.

Signs of hearing loss

People often think of hearing loss as a volume problem, but this is not true, it’s more than issues with hearing soft sounds. Common signs include:

  • Sounds & speech appear to be “muffled”
  • Difficulty hearing individual words, or consonants, often in noisy environments
  • Setting TV & radio to very high volumes
  • People may ask others to speak more slowly or repeat themselves more frequently
  • Changes in behavior, such as a lost interest in social events or no longer taking part in conversations

To learn more, please refer to our section on signs of hearing loss or to get a better understanding of what hearing loss sounds like, listen to the examples from our hearing loss simulation.

 
Hearing Loss
 

Types of hearing loss

The type of hearing loss is usually determined by where the issue arises anatomically in the ear (inner, middle or outer ear) as well as by its severity.

There are three categories commonly used to distinguish hearing loss by origin:

To learn more, please refer to our section on types of hearing loss as well as our section on causes of hearing loss.

Hearing loss treatment

Treatment options vary depending on the type and cause of the hearing loss. The best decision somebody experiencing hearing loss can do is to visit an expert. Several options are available to help find the solution that is right for you:
 

Find an Audiologist in your area

Find an expert

Whether you visit an audiologist, hearing aid specialist, ENT or hearing clinic, speaking to an expert in the best step somebody experiencing hearing loss can take.

Find an Expert

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We strive to have an ongoing relationship with friends and family who struggle with hearing loss. A big part of that relationship is keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information from the industry.

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