Hearing Loss Facts

Hearing Loss  Guide

Hearing Loss Facts
HLAA ALDS Brochure

Hearing Loss is Very Common 

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) 2016 statistics:

Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing

One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations.5

Among adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in three (30 percent) have ever used them. Even fewer adults aged 20 to 69 (approximately 16 percent) who could benefit from wearing hearing aids have ever used them.

           No two people hear alike, even with the same 
            hearing test results.

 We hear with our brains as well as our ears.  Processing auditory information is complex  and involves a number of factors, therefore the way we experience sound and interpret speech differs for each individual.
 A person with normal hearing is able to process sound and speech, almost instantaneously. People with hearing loss have to make sense of what is heard, and that takes time. By the time the person with hearing loss is able to make sense out of spoken information the speaker may be on to another topic, leaving the person with hearing loss "behind" in the conversation. 

In addition speech may sound garbled, fuzzy or far away making intelligibility almost impossible. The results of not understanding the spoken word often means the person with hearing loss has to ask for clairfication. This time consuming process is often embarressing and frustrating for both the hearing speaker and the person with hearing loss.Rephrasing rather than repeating often helps.

Myths about Hard of Hearing People

Many people are faimiliar with pure tone audiometry, a series of tones that vary in loundness and "pitch" .  There are many other tests (painfree) that provide a great deal additonal information concerning hearing and the hearing pathway.  A variety of hearing tests are usually given by an audiologist.

There is often reluctance to admit one has a hearing loss. Although the screening hearing test below is not sufficient to make final decisions on your hearing loss, it may be a means to obtain a rough idea about your hearing status.

Take a hearing test using your landline telephone. The test is $5 but free if you're an HLAA Member. It is sponsored by AARP
Note from the Hearing Test Website

 "The test was developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health and is provided on a nonprofit basis, although there is a small fee for it. The goal is to give you information that can help you decide whether you should seek a full-scale evaluation of your hearing." Remember:  This test does not replace hearing tests done by hearing professionals, it merely provides additional information to those uncertain if they may have a hearing problem.

Click here to take the test