Hearing Loss

How hearing loss happens

To understand why hearing loss is so pervasive, it's important to first understand how hearing loss happens.

Hearing loss happens when any part of our delicate hearing system stops working properly, whether it's due to damage or deterioration. The most susceptible and common parts to break down are the microscopic stereocilia, the thousands of tiny hair cells that detect and send sound impulses to the brain.

When these tiny hair cells become injured, diseased or die naturally due to aging, the result is sensorineural hearing loss. This is by far the most common of the two types of hearing loss.

What causes hearing loss

Many things can cause our hearing system to stop functioning properly. The two most common causes are:

  • Exposure to or damage from excessive noise
  • Presbycusis—or the aging process
  • Genetics

Hearing loss, dementia and you

According to a Johns Hopkins University study:

  • Older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease , compared to those with normal hearing.
  • The risk escalates as a person's hearing loss grows worse. Those with mild hearing impairment are nearly twice as likely to develop dementia compared to those with normal hearing.
  • The risk increases three-fold for those with moderate hearing loss, and five-fold for those with severe impairment.
  • Cognitive decline may present itself as depression, anxiety, emotional instability, withdrawal, isolation, lessened health status.  People with untreated hearing loss are more likely to fall.

Did you know?

There are 48 million Americans who have a significant hearing loss.

80% of people with hearing loss do nothing about it.

An estimated 50 million Americans experience tinnitus, ringing in the ears.

On average, hearing aid users wait 7 to 10 years after their initial diagnosis before being fitted with hearing aids.

Hearing Loss is the third most prevalent health issue in older adults, after arthritis and heart disease.

Hearing loss can effect you in many ways


More than 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous levels of noise in their workplace.

Hearing loss has a significant negative impact on workplace earnings; specifically, untreated hearing loss results in lower earnings.

Children & Teens

An estimated 1 in 5 American teens experiences some degree of hearing loss.

80% of teens with hearing loss report that it is due to loud noise.

About 2 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable hearing loss in one or both ears.

Even a mild hearing loss can cause a child to miss as much as 50% of classroom discussion.


Hearing issues are the most common service-connected disabilities among American veterans.

2.3 million veterans receive either disability compensation for service-connected hearing disabilities or are in treatment for hearing-related issues.

Half of all blast-induced injuries result in permanent hearing loss for veterans.

How's Your Hearing?

  • Do you prefer the TV or radio louder than others?

  • Do you have trouble understanding what's

    being said unless you are directly facing the speaker?

  • Do you often ask others to repeat themselves?

  • Do you avoid social occasions, family gatherings or

    group meetings where listening may be difficult?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, we can help.

Call 844-339-0655 today
to talk with a Hearing Care Advisor.

Hearing Aid images represent Starkey Hearing Technologies products

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