Hearing loss in adults

Being able to hear throughout your life is crucial. Even a moderate reduction in hearing has a profound impact. It reduces a person’s ability to listen, comprehend and communicate, potentially leading to social isolation and other health issues1-2.

Under treatment of hearing loss in adults

Disabling hearing loss affects approximately a third of people 65 years and older, yet only a small proportion seeks help3. This can be because people don’t notice that they are gradually losing their hearing, or because they make adjustments to adapt, or because they accept it as simply being part of the ageing process. In fact, many people struggle with hearing loss for up to 10 years before they seek help4-5.

It is important to have your hearing assessed as soon as you notice a change. Timely detection of hearing loss and early intervention is associated with improved hearing outcomes and benefits to overall health and wellbeing6.

Why seeking help for your hearing is important

Research has shown that hearing loss has far-reaching health and social consequences. Deafness is a significant contributor to not working – unemployment amongst those with hearing loss is dramatically higher than the national average, and studies also indicate that employees with hearing loss receive less pay than people without hearing impairment7.

Hearing loss is also associated with an increased risk of developing other serious health issues, including dementia, depression and anxiety8-9. It also has a negative impact on physical and social wellbeing.

Because hearing loss is a health issue most associated with old age, it can be difficult to acknowledge that you may need a solution such as a hearing aid or cochlear implant. Taking the first step towards addressing your hearing loss is an important way to take control of healthy ageing, one that could change your life for the better.

Take the next step to improve your hearing

If you are ready to start exploring your options, the first step is to speak with a healthcare professional. Depending on your specific needs, there are many different healthcare professionals who can support you on your journey back to better hearing.

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Hearing loss in older adults
  1. Mosnier I. Cochlear Implant Outcomes in the Elderly. Audiol Neurotol( 2012);17(suppl 1):3–25
  2. Kiessling et al. Candidature for and delivery of audiological services: Special needs of older people. Int J Audiol 2003;42:2S92-2S101
  3. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. (2010). Quick statistics. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/Pages/quick.aspx#5
  4. Action on Hearing Loss. Action needed on hearing loss: Government solutions for a growing problem. 2011.  Available at: www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk
  5. Davis, A., Smith, P., Ferguson, M., Stephens, D., & Gianopoulos, I. (2007). Acceptability, benefit and costs of early screening for hearing disability: A study of potential screening tests and models. Health Technology Assessment, 11, 1–294.
  6. Lin FR. Implications of Hearing Loss for Older Adults. Audiology & Neurotology 2011;17:4-6
  7. Saxon J, Holmes A, Spitznagel R. Impact of a Cochlear Implant on Job Functioning. The Journal of Rehabilitation 2001;67(No 3)
  8. Lin F. Hearing loss in older adults. JAMA 207(11):


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Hearing health specialists can talk to you about your treatment options, and discuss any further steps for preventing or limiting hearing loss.

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