Hearing loss and hearing needs are not uncommon here in the United States (and in many other places all throughout the world, at that), and it is something that can impact a great deal of people, adults and children alike. Hearing loss is caused by a number of different things, and can result from environmental factors as well as from genetic ones. In addition to this, hearing loss can be treated in a number of different ways, from the instruction of sign language to the use of hearing aids to a combination of the two (or a variety of other treatments and therapies).
Age is one factor that contributes heavily to hearing loss, as the typical hearing aid clinic will be able to attest to. In fact, most people have reached the age of seventy by the time that they first get hearing aids, though this is only an average age and many people get hearing aids before turning seventy and many people will get hearing aids for the first time after this age as well. In fact, less than thirty percent of all people at the age of seventy have ever used hearing aids before, even though it has been found that the majority of people who have reached this age will very much reap the benefits of them.
For older people, hearing loss can creep up on them. It begins slowly but can quickly become hugely detrimental to their overall quality of life. In fact, hearing loss can even become disabling, as is the case for more than twenty five percent of the elderly population (those who are over the age of sixty five). However, the use of hearing aids can help. In order for hearing aids to be prescribed, a visit to a local hearing clinic or ENT (a doctor that specializes in matters of the ear, nose, and throat) is typically required.
However, elderly people are not the only ones who can benefit from the use of hearing aids in many cases. Children too can be affected by hearing loss, though this hearing loss (and often subsequent need for hearing aids) is more likely tied to a genetic cause, though up to ninety percent of children with some level of deafness or hearing loss still have two hearing biological parents. When it comes to children and hearing aids, early diagnosis is likely to be absolutely essential, especially in those early years of learning, when retaining and fully hearing information is so very important.
Fortunately, more schools are working with hearing test centers and the like to provide students with hearing and vision testing at regular intervals throughout their elementary school years. This can help to detect any hearing loss that might be developing, though a great deal of genetic hearing loss in children can be detected shortly after birth, when the regular battery of tests that are performed on new babies are run. In many cases, hearing aids can help to restore a good deal of hearing to children with hearing problems, but in other cases sign language is likely to give them the best tools of communication and understanding possible.
Of course, hearing loss and the need for hearing aids can also develop due to hearing damage, something that is likely to accumulate in your adult years. Current statistics back this up, showing that up to fifteen percent of all adults who are over the age of eighteen have some level of hearing loss throughout the United States. While not all of this hearing loss can be attributed to environmental causes, much of it can.
Such hearing loss is very likely to occur when regular exposure to sounds that are over eighty five decibels occurs. Such exposure can occur in many different places, such as at music events like concerts or even at construction sites. Prevention is key here, and wearing ear plugs or headphones that reduce noise by up to thirty decibels can be hugely instrumental in keeping any hearing loss from occurring in the first place, something that will benefit you immensely in the present as well as in the years that are to come.