Gerontology & Geriatrics

Tips for reducing risk of hearing loss

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I recently realized that I often ask people to repeat themselves, and I must turn up the volume on the TV louder than before. How do I know if I have hearing loss? I am 46. Aren't I too young for hearing ...

Biomedical technology

Turning hearing aids into noise-canceling devices

People with hearing aids and other assistive listening devices often struggle at crowded events, because the various sources of sound make it difficult to make out any one of them clearly.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Q and A: Ear infections after swimming

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I swim for exercise and relaxation. I try to get in the pool about three times a week. Recently, I have begun to have episodes where it feels like water is still in my ear. Then my ear becomes red and painful. ...

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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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