That means the number today is approaching 50 million – and not just because people are getting older. According to an article in Huffpost Healthy Living, the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) has found that young people are suffering from permanent hearing loss at an alarming rate. According to their studies, 20% of American kids will suffer from irreversible hearing loss by age 19 due to their exposure to noise. Worldwide, the World Health Organization considers 1 billion teenagers at risk. This puts hearing loss at epidemic proportions.
Now most of us know that hearing loss is common among many of us as we age, due to something called presbycusis. Hearing loss can also be the result of genetics, taking ototoxic drugs, or other health-related issues. However, what the article above is referring to, for the most part, is avoidable, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Though hearing loss of this type is considered permanent, its effect on our lives doesn’t have to be. Over 90% of people with hearing loss can be helped with hearing aids. True, it’s an investment, and it would be better to NOT have to wear them, but given the enormous health and social benefits they provide us, today’s highly-sophisticated and practically invisible hearing aids are a wonderful solutions. By using them, we can avoid the damage that untreated hearing loss can cause to our independence and relationships with others.
Are you not sure whether you have hearing loss? Starkey Hearing provides a wonderful self-test to begin answering that question. Press HERE to take it. And if you’re ready to have further discussion on the options, you can contact us HERE, or call us at (307) 254-9633 to arrange a convenient time.