Hearing Loss in Adults

Hearing loss affects millions of Americans every year. By the age of 65, about 1 in 3 individuals suffer from hearing loss, and that number is growing rapidly. Of those individuals, unfortunately only about 30% actually seek help/treatment. That means that about 70% of individuals live with untreated hearing loss daily.

The consequences of untreated hearing loss are vast and can be detrimental to one's health. Research has shown that untreated hearing loss is highly correlated with Alzheimer's disease, other forms of dementia, depression, cognitive decline, and/or other health problems related to social isolation; however, there is hope! Treating your hearing loss can bring about an entirely different outcome, and you can live a full life enriched by the sounds of your loved ones.

Man getting hearing evaluation at Bridgewater Hearing and Balance in Knoxville, TN

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

This simple quiz can help get you started on your path to understanding your hearing health.

1. Do you have trouble hearing with a lot of background noise?


Possible Causes of Hearing Loss

Sally Baerman with Otoscope in Knoxville, TN
  • Cerumen (earwax) blockage. We can remove this on the spot!
  • Outer or middle ear infections
  • Permanent sensorineural hearing loss
  • Presbycusis (aging) “Just a little hearing loss for my age” is not “normal”
  • Otosclerosis
  • Ménière's disease
  • Genetics (family history)
  • Perforated ear drum (tympanic membrane)
  • Head trauma
  • Significant history of noise exposure

Pediatric Hearing Loss

Pediatric Hearing Loss

Approximately 1 in every 1,000 children are born with hearing loss. About 50-60% of these cases can be attributed to genetics. Other cases can be attributed to infections during pregnancy, such as Cytomegalovirus (CMV), other environmental causes, and/or complications after birth.

What should we do? Be proactive.

Seek help and take action!

  • If you are concerned your child might have hearing loss, contact an audiologist for a full hearing test immediately.
  • If your child has hearing loss, we can help with approaches that are specialized to pediatrics.
  • Management of childhood hearing loss should take a TEAM approach. We will work with you and your child to provide the best treatment and intervention services possible.

Be Informed: Hearing loss can affect all aspects of a child’s development, especially speech, language, and social skills. Early intervention is KEY! The earlier services are initiated, the better! If you suspect your child has hearing loss, trust your instincts and let us help guide you and your child to a better life.

Note: We also offer newborn hearing screenings; click here to learn more.

Risk Factors for Hearing Loss

There are several risk factors that can occur that place an infant "at-risk" for hearing loss in the first three years of life):

  • Prematurity
  • Low birth weight
  • Stay in the NICU for > 5 days
  • Family history of hearing loss
  • In utero infections such as CMV, rubella, herpes, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis
  • Has a neurological disorder that may be associated with hearing loss, such as Hunter Syndrome
  • Has any syndromes associated with hearing loss or progressive/late-onset hearing loss
  • Use of Ototoxic Medications
  • Hyperbilirubenemia that requires exchange transfusion
  • Any craniofacial anomalies including those that involve the pinna, ear canal, or ear tags

Note: If your child is between the ages of 0 and 3 years and has any of the risk factors listed above, a hearing re-evaluation should be completed every six months until they are three years old for the purposes of monitoring hearing.

Hearing loss in infants in Knoxville, TN

Other Risk Factors for Kids of All Ages

A hearing evaluation is recommended if you should observe one or more of the following:

Child during hearing exam in Knoxville, TN
  • Otitis media with effusion, such as fluid in the ears or ear infections
  • Caregiver concern regarding speech and/or language development
  • Speech is unclear
  • Does not follow directions
  • Difficulty hearing in the presence of background noise
  • Mumbled speech
  • Frequent need for repetition, constantly asking "huh?" or "what?"
  • Watching TV at elevated volumes
  • Ear wax (i.e., cerumen)
  • Head trauma, especially in the basal skull
  • Chemotherapy
  • Meningitis


Request Your Appointment

Desired Office:

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We have 5 convenient locations for your visit:



103 Suburban Rd, Suite 101-D
Knoxville, TN 37923
p. (865) 769-0283
f. (865) 769-0281

1240 Fox Meadows Blvd, Ste 5
Sevierville, TN 37862
p. (865) 453-3892
f. (865) 429-0719

169 Westmoreland Street
Harrogate, TN 37752
p. (865) 769-0283
f. (865) 769-0281

4005 Fountain Valley Dr, Suite 450, Knoxville, TN 37918
p. (865) 377-4980
f. (865) 377-4558

117 S Charles Seivers Blvd, Clinton, TN 37716
p. (865) 269-4607
f. (865) 269-4617





Bridgewater Balance & Hearing logo
103 Suburban Rd, Suite 101-D
Knoxville, TN 37923
(865) 769-0283
1240 Fox Meadows Blvd, Ste 5
Sevierville, TN 37862
(865) 453-3892
169 Westmoreland Street
Harrogate, TN 37752
(865) 769-0283
4005 Fountain Valley Dr, Suite 450
Knoxville, TN 37918
(865) 377-4980
117 S Charles Seivers Blvd
Clinton, TN 37716
(865) 269-4607