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9 facts about hearing loss

Often, we take our hearing for granted, but hearing loss is all too common. According to the World Health Organization, hearing loss affects more than 5% of the world’s population. That’s more than 466 million people with hearing loss, and it’s expected to climb.

If you think you have difficulty hearing, don’t be one of the many who wait to do something about it. Take action now by getting the facts and booking a free hearing test.

Book a free hearing test

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1. Hearing loss is common
One in every three people over the age of 65 – a total of 165 million people worldwide – live with hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization. This makes hearing loss the second most prevalent issue globally.

See the signs of hearing loss

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2. It may increase your risk of cognitive decline
Living with even a mild case of hearing loss can double your risk of cognitive decline. The more severe the case, the greater the risk. The sooner you seek treatment, the better your chance for a positive outcome.

Hearing loss affects your social behaviour

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3. Noise is often the cause
According to the New York Times Personal Health Blog, noise is the leading cause of hearing loss. Repeated exposure to loud noise (85 decibels or higher) can lead to permanent hearing damage—85 decibels is the amount of sound produced by heavy city traffic.

Know about tinnitus

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4. It often starts with damaged hair cells
Hearing loss associated with aging is often a result of damage to cilia - hair cells - located in the cochlea part of your ear. Initial damage tends to occur in the outer part of the cochlea, controlling high-frequency sounds, such as those produced by consonants f, sh, ch, p, s and t.

Know more about sensorineural hearing loss

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5. Hearing loss is costly
According to a report by the World Health Organization, untreated hearing loss has a global cost of $750 billion. Beyond the global costs, untreated hearing loss can be costly for individuals - untreated hearing loss is linked to lower salaries, lower career progression and even unemployment.

Hearing loss affects your work life

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6. Even when we are asleep we are listening
Unlike our closed eyes, our ears remain open and ready to alert us to things that need our attention—an important evolution from early days. Today, we continue to rely on our hearing day and night to alert us to danger and to hear the alarm clock in the morning.

The signs of hearing loss

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7. Hearing loss is linked to other diseases
Living with a hearing loss may increase your risk of a stroke by 30% and your risk of heart attack by 36%, according to research by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Untreated hearing loss

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8. Physicians rarely test for hearing loss
Only 16% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss, according to the Center for Hearing and Communication.

Book your hearing appointment

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9. Many famous people have it
Many notable figures have struggled with hearing loss—among others, Halle Berry, Brian Wilson, Barbra Streisand, Thomas Edison and even Ludwig Van Beethoven succeeded in the face of hearing difficulties.

Find a hearing centre near you

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Don’t just live with it. Address your hearing loss today

Take our online hearing test to find out if you have trouble hearing and could benefit from an appointment with one of our hearing professionals. Using background noise, tone tests and self-evaluation questions, the online test can give you a clear indication of how well you hear and point you toward appropriate next steps. The test is free of charge, noncommittal and gives instant feedback.

Don’t wait. Take steps today to see if you have difficulty hearing.

Take the online hearing test

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The 52 benefits of better hearing

Untreated hearing loss can impact your quality of life. Learn 52 reasons to do something about it. Take the first step today by booking a free hearing test at a location near you.

Complete the form to download your own copy of 52 Benefits of Better Hearing.

Deal JA, Betz J, Yaffe K, et al, for the Health ABC Study Group. Hearing impairment and incident dementia and cognitive decline in older adults: the Health ABC Study J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2016
G Livingston, A Sommerlad, V Orgeta, et al.Dementia prevention, intervention, and care
Lancet, 390 (2017), pp. 2673-2734