Hearing Loss

Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Causes

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), some 28 million Americans have a hearing impairment. Although we're more likely to experience problems with hearing as we get older, hearing loss cuts across all age groups too, affecting approximately 17 in 1,000 children under age 18.

Hearing loss can vary from a loss of sensitivity to certain sounds, to a total loss of hearing. Hearing loss can also be accompanied by other problems. In addition, some types of hearing loss can be corrected, and some cannot.

Possible causes

There are many conditions that can lead to hearing impairment, including but not limited to:

  • Birth defects
  • Presbycusis
  • Otosclerosis
  • Diseases
  • Trauma
  • Noise
  • Medications
  • Otitis externa
  • Otitis media
  • Ruptured eardrum
  • Ear wax

If you suspect hearing loss in yourself or your child, your healthcare professional may recommend a hearing test. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says you may be referred to either an otolaryngologist or an audiologist.

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