Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Q&A: Cicadas and tinnitus—here's what you need to know

For many Illinois residents, the droning call of cicadas is central to summer's soundscape. But this year looks—and sounds—a bit different, courtesy of a timely collision between cicada Broods XIII and XIX. The two broods ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Hearing impairment may lead to depression, isolation, dementia

If you've ever found yourself repeating parts of a conversation for an older person or walking into a room where they've turned the TV up full blast, you might have discovered more than just a typical byproduct of aging.

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Hearing impairment

A hearing impairment or deafness is a full or partial decrease in the ability to detect or understand sounds. Caused by a wide range of biological and environmental factors, loss of hearing can happen to any organism that perceives sound. "Hearing impaired" is often used to refer to those who are deaf, although the term is viewed negatively by members of Deaf culture, who prefer the terms "Deaf" and "Hard of Hearing".

Sound waves vary in amplitude and in frequency. Amplitude is the sound wave's peak pressure variation. Frequency is the number of cycles per second of a sinusoidal component of a sound wave. Loss of the ability to detect some frequencies, or to detect low-amplitude sounds that an organism naturally detects, is a hearing impairment.

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