With May springing as Better Hearing Month, audiologists are seeking to bring attention to communication disorders, focusing on age-related hearing loss.  Unfortunately, hearing loss is not restricted to the elderly, but it can strike as early as infancy.  As was mentioned in our post here, 2 or 3 of every thousand children in the US experience hearing loss of some sort, with 1 million suffering bilaterally and 3 million unilaterally.  These statistics bear lifelong consequences throughout their growing-up years, consequences which are also demonstrated in working-age and elderly people with hearing loss.

Child Hearing Loss

With lack of hearing often come academic challenges, costing up to $115,600 in a child’s lifetime of education, not to mention the amount of frustration borne by the child.  Due to inability to hear as well as other children, youths enduring unilateral or bilateral hearing loss often manifest symptoms likened to attention deficit disorders or cognitive or language delays.  Up to 35% of these hard-of-hearing children fail a grade, and 41% receive extra tutelage on the side.

Working Age Hearing Loss

Approximately 16% of Americans in the 20-69 age bracket experience hearing impairment in at least one ear, reaching over 29 million people.  As a result, hearing-impaired employees tend to make less money than non-impaired, if they’re even employed at all.  Though hearing aids tend to help, these persons feel the strain at home and in the workplace, often lending to decreased physical, emotional, and sexual health.

Hearing Loss in the Elderly

Age-related hearing loss (known as ARHL) currently affects 50% of people over age 65 and 80% of citizens 85 and up.  Those with ARHL generally lose their hearing in stages.  Initially, they may confuse words that sound alike but still keep up with the context of a conversation.  Eventually, ARHL may lead to difficulty hearing higher-pitched tones—such as female voices—or focusing on conversations conducted amidst background noise, causing them to withdraw from social functions.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from these types of hearing loss, we here at Oklahoma Hearing Center urge you to call us today.  As professional Oklahoma hearing specialists, we strive to provide top-notch hearing impairment services at our hearing care centers spread across Oklahoma.