4 Reasons Hearing Loss Goes Undetected in Adults

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In 1927, the month of May was designated Better Hearing and Speech Month to raise awareness about the causes and treatments of hearing loss and speech impediments.

Fast forward to May 21, 1986, President Ronald Reagan issued a formal proclamation designating May as the official month to "heighten public awareness" about hearing loss and speech disorders. 

According to the National Health Interview Survey...

15% of the 45-64-year-old age group
27% of the 65-74-year-old age group
All have significant hearing loss.

Patients will sometimes mention their hearing loss to their primary care doctor; however, if they pass the "whisper" test, they are told that they are fine. This type of an informal hearing evaluation is subjective and frequently does not identify someone with hearing loss.

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The Edwardsville Intelligencer said that despite its high prevalence, hearing loss often goes undetected- especially by the person experiencing it! Many individuals often dismiss their hearing loss to "old age" and don't attempt to look into the reasons why.

Family and friends are usually the first to become aware of communication problems.

4 Reasons Hearing Loss Goes Undetected in Adults:

The Edwardsville Intelligencer have broken down the four most common reasons why hearing loss goes undetected in adults.

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1. GRADUAL

Hearing loss usually develops at a slow and gradual pace that makes the individual unaware that it is happening. It's difficult to detect these slight changes that can occur over years.

Hearing loss might develop at the rate of one decibel a year - what does that mean... It's TINY!

10 decibels... breathing
20 decibels... whisper/rustling leaves
40 decibels... library/bird calls
80 decibels...garbage disposal/dishwasher

That’s a daily change of about .001 percent of hearing- which is extremely difficult to notice. Nevertheless, that gradual change over 10 to 30 years can lead to very significant hearing loss.

2. PAINLESS

Pain is rarely associated with or felt during adult-onset of hearing loss. However, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ear) is sometimes a symptom of hearing loss. 

WHAT ARE OTHER SYMPTOMS OF HEARING LOSS? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE.

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3. PARTIAL

During the early stage of adult-onset hearing loss, hearing low-frequency sounds is usually not affected- even as the ability to hear the high-frequency sounds decrease.

The person suffering from hearing loss might say that they can hear speech but they can't understand it.

4. INVISIBLE

The physical signs of hearing loss don't exist.

Hearing loss can affect the lifestyle of a family member, a loved one, a friend or even you. May is Better Hearing Month wants to spread the word that hearing loss is more common than we think!


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