More hearing loss in aging society
The numbers of elderly in Europe and the United States are increasing, and hearing loss is becoming more prevalent.
A study, the results of which were published in 2003 in the highly regarded American journal Archives of Otololaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, examined the hearing ability of almost 3,000 Americans aged between 48 and 92 years. The study confirmed results from earlier studies indicating that more than 20 percent of people aged 50 and over suffer hearing loss during any given five year period. The researchers concluded that males are particularly at risk. Nearly one third of the men in this age group suffer loss of hearing over five years as compared to 17 percent among the women.
The loss of hearing is even greater among people already suffering from hearing loss, with more than one half experiencing reduced hearing ability in five years.
Occupation is another important influence on the prevalence of hearing loss among the elderly. People formerly occupied in industrial jobs are at twice the risk of hearing loss compared to former office or administrative employees.
Other studies indicate that hearing loss is becoming increasingly prevalent among young people as well, increasing the need for information and treatment, including the prescription of hearing aids.
Source: Archives of Otololaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, October 2003, vol. 129.