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Listen up: get a handle on hearing loss

Published On: Oct 25 2011 03:01:08 PM CDT
Updated On: Nov 15 2011 09:42:23 AM CST
Listening

(NewsUSA) - If you're constantly straining to hear a conversation at the office or turning up the volume when watching television, there's a good chance you are one of many Americans with a serious but common problem -- hearing loss.

Losing your hearing can occur for a number of reasons, including frequent exposure to decibel levels that are not safely tolerable for human hearing. But for those who simply lose their hearing slowly as they age -- a condition known as "presbycusis" -- the loss of hearing may run in the family and gradually prevent the sufferer from hearing higher frequencies that are found in everyday life.

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), hearing loss has become the nation's number-one disability. And the problem, which affects one out of every three people older than 60 and half of those over 85, doesn't seem to be dwindling.

In fact, the HLAA has predicted that by the year 2050, the number of hearing-impaired Americans will have surpassed the rate at which the U.S. population is growing -- making the need for products that assist individuals with hearing loss much more valuable.