Did you know that we start hearing sounds from the outside world while in the womb at about 23 weeks? Moreover, by 35 weeks, our ears are fully formed, and we can likely distinguish our mom’s voice from others.
From birth to adulthood, our ears are a powerful and fragile tool. It is through our sense of hearing that we can listen to and respond to a child’s cry, the cheering of our favorite sports team, or listen to our favorite band, play, or movie. Our hearing opens our minds to a realm of experiences, friendships, learning, and priceless memories.
Sadly, hearing loss is a significant public health issue worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, by 2050, nearly 2.5 billion people will have some degree of hearing loss, and at least 700 million will require hearing rehabilitation.
At the American Hearing Research Foundation (AHRF), we hope that the following information can lead you to better understand, protect and restore your hearing and balance functions.