Hearing Loss Overview

Hearing loss can affect anyone.

While hearing loss is most common in older adults, it can affect people of any age, and some babies are even born with it. Between the ages of 60–69, about one-third of people have hearing loss. Above age 69, somewhere between half and two-thirds of people have it. It is the third most common chronic health concern in America.

Hearing loss doesn’t only affect the person who has it. It can be painful for loved ones to lose the ability to communicate easily with a spouse or family member who has hearing loss. Indeed, those who treat hearing loss with hearing aids commonly see an improvement in their relationships with friends and family.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Causes of Hearing Loss

We usually think of noise as the main cause of hearing loss. While noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is responsible for more hearing loss than any other cause besides aging, there are many other ways a person can incur hearing loss. Researchers at the Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing Loss also note that nearly every type of hearing loss involves a genetic component. Some of the common causes of hearing loss include:
  • Aging
  • Noise exposure
  • Infections such as otitis media (middle ear infection) and meningitis
  • Gout
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Meniere’s disease and other diseases of the inner ear
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Ototoxic medications, like certain life-saving cancer drugs
  • Otosclerosis
  • Some neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis
  • Earwax build up
  • Tumors
  • Birth defects, such as a structural malformation of the ear
oung man with ringing in his ears

Problems Related to Hearing Loss

While hearing loss may once have been imagined as a relatively benign part of getting older, today we know much more. The consequences of untreated hearing loss include loneliness, depression, anxiety, decreased physical activity, increased risk of accidental injury, increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and more.

Untreated hearing loss is one of the main causes of decreased quality of life in older adults. Treating hearing loss doesn’t just make communication more convenient—it is critical to maintaining our health and well-being over time. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have hearing loss, please make an appointment for a hearing test today. While hearing loss can be devastating when left untreated, the use of a good set of hearing aids can nearly eliminate the risk of adverse outcomes related to hearing loss.

Doris Van Vleet
Doris Van Vleet
Competant, caring, listens, excellent product.
Garreth Llewellyn
Garreth Llewellyn
Best place for service when we are in Green Valley. Joe is always fast, friendly, and thorough with my dad.
Linda Pandolfi
Linda Pandolfi
Very competent, friendly and attentive staff. Joe Kopp has done a great job of adjusting my new Beltone Trusts which do an excellent job of managing background noise. The phone app gives me the capability of managing and controlling my hearing aids in every changing environment. I love having this ability. The Trust hearing aids have improved my experience while listening to music, playing the piano and singing. I highly recommend Giraffe Hearing!
Trista Hibberd
Trista Hibberd
They helped me when I needed cleaning tools. They have great maintenance plans available for decent prices.