Auburn University Speech and Hearing Clinic

Auditory Disorders

Audiological testing

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NICD), approximately 17% (36 million) of adults have some degree of hearing loss. The incidence of hearing loss increases as a person ages (47% of adults 75 years and older).  The NICD estimates that approximately 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have some degree of high frequency hearing loss due to noise exposure from work or leisure activities. Two to three of every 1000 children born in the United States are deaf or hearing impaired.

There are many causes of hearing loss, including:

  • accumulation of ear wax
  • trauma (i.e. punctured ear drum, fractured temporal bone)
  • ear infections
  • childhood diseases (i.e. mumps or measles)
  • hereditary disorders
  • German measles during pregnancy
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Certain medications (ototoxic)
  • head injuries
  • birth defects
  • the aging process (presbycusis)
  • sudden or extended exposure to harmful noise
  • Acoustic neuroma

Last Updated: September 15, 2015