Age-related hearing loss: how to screen for it, and when to intervene

Geriatrics. 1994 Aug;49(8):40-5; quiz 46-7.


Hearing loss is prevalent among older adults and is associated with depression, cognitive decline, reduction in functional status, and emotional and social handicaps. Screening by physicians is important, because older adults tend to underestimate the degree of their hearing impairment. The most important predictor of hearing aid candidacy is not the severity of hearing loss but rather the patient's motivation and perception of the handicapping effects of his/her hearing impairment. A variety of hearing aid styles is available. In-the-ear units and in-the-canal hearing aids are the most popular. New digitally programmable aids are often acoustically superior, but they cost more and require considerable training. Assistive listening devices may be used with or without a hearing aid to amplify sound, television, or telephone conversations.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Hearing Aids
  • Hearing Loss / diagnosis*
  • Hearing Loss / etiology
  • Hearing Loss / therapy
  • Humans