• Diabetes

• Acoustic Neuroma


• Thyroid disease     

• Lyme Disease           


• Hypertension

• MS


• Parkinson’s

• Oto-toxicity


• Meniere’s 

• Wax

Noise Causes Hearing Loss!

Hearing loss is considered as the second leading cause of a global burden, and a major disability which affects the quality of life of the people suffering from it.
While there might be a number of different reasons for reported hearing loss in an individual, noise is a major contributing factor as well. Hereditary factors, complications at birth, and exposure to dangerously loud noises, are some other common reasons for hearing loss in individuals.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss – Affecting Hearing Abilities

Noise induced hearing loss involves exposure to dangerously high levels of sounds for an extended period of time. Noise induced hearing loss can be a temporary issue or it might become a permanent problem, if an individual is exposed to high decibel noises for a long time.

According to statistics, around 15% of the American population, which is 26 million people that lie between the 20 to 69 years age bracket, suffer from noise induced hearing loss. (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (NIDCD)). This noise induced hearing loss might be due to noise at work or exposure to sounds during leisure activities.

According to a survey conducted by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, around 16% of the teens and young adults, aged between 12 and 19 years, were noted to suffer from hearing loss that was attributed to prolonged exposure to dangerously high sound levels. (Josef Shargorodsky, 2010)

How Does Noise Induced Hearing Loss Occur?

The dangerously high decibel sounds damage the hearing nerves and the hearing cells of the inner ear. This is called as sensorineural hearing loss or nerve damage. This kind of damage mighty be brought about by exposure to sounds of high intensity for brief spells, that might include explosions, or continuous sound in a work environment. The hearing loss might be immediate or it might affect a person, slowly over a period of time. (John Hopkins Medicine ).

The hearing loss might also result in TINNITUS, which is a condition in which there is a ringing sound that is continuously heard in the head. This ringing or buzzing sound is heard as a result of damage to the ears, due to prolonged exposure to loud sounds.

Sounds that might result in noise induced hearing loss include:

  • Firing of guns
  • Motorcycles
  • Airplanes
  • Personal audio devices switched to high frequency sounds
  • Lawn mowers
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Chain saws
  • Jet engine
  • Construction and heavy machinery

Sounds that are of 80 decibels are considered to be safe, while normal conversations are shared at 60 decibels. A sound of 90 decibels produced from lawn mowers might affect a gradual hearing loss over a period of time. At 110 decibels, sounds from chain saws should be avoided by wearing protective ear wear to avoid any damage to the hearing, while sounds at 140 decibels approximately, produced in rock concerts and by firecrackers, are dangerous enough to cause permanent hearing loss in an individual. (John Hopkins Medicine ).

To avoid hearing loss and damage from loud noises, ear plugs that fit into the outer ear canal of a person need to be used, while wear muffs that cover the entire outer ear are a good option as well. Decreasing the intensity of the sound to a safe level and avoiding prolonged exposure to dangerously high sound levels can help minimize the damage caused by noised induced hearing loss as well. 


40 Million Americans Suffer From
Hearing Loss – A Hard Fact!

By: Dr. Lori Trentacoste, Au. D., CCC-A
Doctor of Audiology

According to the recent statistics published by the World Health Organization, around 360 million people all over the world, suffer from hearing loss, out of which 40 million are Americans! (World Health Organization , 2015). An individual might suffer from mild, severe, moderate or profound hearing loss, which might affect one or both ears. A hearing loss which is greater than 40 decibels in adults, and more than 30 decibels in children, is referred to as disabling hearing loss.  

Statistical Information

Men exhibit a higher propensity to suffer from hearing loss, compared to women. (Clarke, JW, & Blackwell, 2012). Around 15% of the American adults, who are aged 18 and above; report trouble in hearing, according to the statistics reported by the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).

Also, around 2 to 3 children out of every 1000 babies born in the U.S., suffer from hearing loss which is detectable. According to a research conducted by the NIDCD, around 15% of the Americans who lie in the age bracket of 20 to 69, suffer from a high frequency of hearing loss, which is caused by exposure to noise at work or during other activities.

Furthermore, according to a survey study conducted by the NIDCD, around 2% of the adults who are aged from 45 to 54 are reported to have a disabling hearing loss. This rate for the occurrence of hearing loss is seen to elevate to 8.5% in adults who are aged between 55 and 64. The study also revealed alarming statistics that around 25% of individuals aged from 65 to 74, and 50% of those aged 75 or older, had reported suffering from hearing loss.  (National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 2015) 

Basis For Measuring Hearing Loss

Hearing loss might be caused due to hereditary factors, medical negligence, delay or lack of timely treatment, complications at time of birth, and contraction of a severe disease at an early stage in life. Hearing loss is calculated based on the decibels which are audible to an individual. This congenital abnormality is assessed through a set of audiologic tests, which include acoustic admittance measurement tests, hearing history, and other physiological and behavioral procedures.

Sophisticated testing procedures like auditory brainstem response, Otoacoustic emissions, behavioral observation audiometry, speech and conditioned audiometry and visual reinforcement audiometry are used to determine the level of hearing loss in an individual. The tests are conducted based on the age of the patient. (Shamesh). The basis for measuring the degree of severity of hearing loss is:




From -10 to 15 decibels


26 to 40 decibels


41 to 55 decibels


71 to 90 decibels


Greater than 90 decibels

Demographic Studies

The traditional nuclear income family dynamics are changing in the industry, with both parents working full time, and leaving the children in day care or with relatives. Divorce rate in the country has also risen to 50%, and the changing family structural dynamics are reported to have a great impact on the work of auditory professionals, who identify, diagnose and treat hearing loss in children and adults. Low income families have children that are more vulnerable to suffering from hearing impairment, due to the lack of proper and timely medical care. (Rhodes & Perigoe) These families also often lack the resources to provide their children with the required medical care and treatment needed for improvement.

Amongst the minority groups within the country, the number of children reported with a rising percentage of hearing loss cases has been highest in the Spanish community. 11.5% of the total households, which were identified with cases of children suffering from hearing loss, belonged to Spanish families. (Rhodes & Perigoe). Certain ethnic groups are also identified with a higher number of hearing loss cases, which is attributed to consanguineous marriages. (Rhodes & Perigoe) Around 49% of individuals diagnosed with hearing loss belonged to different ethnic groups, out of which 15.4% are African American, 4.3% are Asian Americans and 24.5% Hispanic American. (Rhodes & Perigoe)

Over the years, there has been a rising trend observed in the number of reported cases for hearing loss, all across the country, which is seen as a major cause for concern by experts.     

DEPRESSION is a disorder which affects around 350 million people on a global scale, according to the World Health Organization WHO. This mental condition is one of the leading causes of disability in the world, and is now being seen as a major contributor to the overall global burden of the disease. (World Health Organization WHO , 2012)

This condition is different from regular mood fluctuations and has the tendency to become a serious health condition if it becomes severe. There are a number of reasons which contribute to the development of depression in an individual, and hearing loss is considered to be one of the contributing factors.
Hearing Loss And Depression- The Connection

According to the statistics submitted by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders NIDCD, around 36 million Americans have been reported to suffer from hearing loss. This comprises around 17% of the adult population of the country, which is an alarming statistic in itself.
Hearing loss is attributed to being the third chronic health condition most prevalent in older adults. But statistics show that only 20% of the individuals, who can benefit from the treatment, actually opt for medical help. (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA))

Suffering from hearing loss is an individual experience, and every person responds differently to the condition. Many individuals suffering from hearing loss are known to experience conditions like depression, anxiety, frustration, and social isolation. (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)). The stress of dealing with the hearing loss, results in depression which might be moderate or severe.