Considerations for Selecting and Fitting Hearing Aids for Older Adults The occurrence of hearing impairment among the older population is high; it is estimated that 40–45% of people over age 65 years and about 83% of those over 70 have some degree of hearing loss (Cruickshanks et al., 1998). The aging process results in declines in auditory thresholds and in ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2006
Considerations for Selecting and Fitting Hearing Aids for Older Adults
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gabrielle H. Saunders
    National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2006
Considerations for Selecting and Fitting Hearing Aids for Older Adults
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, December 2006, Vol. 10, 19-24. doi:10.1044/hhd10.2.19
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, December 2006, Vol. 10, 19-24. doi:10.1044/hhd10.2.19
The occurrence of hearing impairment among the older population is high; it is estimated that 40–45% of people over age 65 years and about 83% of those over 70 have some degree of hearing loss (Cruickshanks et al., 1998). The aging process results in declines in auditory thresholds and in an independent and faster decline in speech understanding (Divenyi, Stark, & Haupt, 2005). Hearing aids amplify sound, thus compensating for declines in thresholds, but they cannot improve speech understanding per se. This perhaps in part explains the poor uptake and use of hearing aids. As shown by MarkeTrak VII, only 32% of individuals, aged 65–74 years with hearing impairment, wear hearing aids; this number rises to about 45% for those in the 75–84 year age group and to about 58% for those 84 years and older. Interestingly, these numbers do not appear to relate to advances in hearing aid technology, in that these hearing aid adoption rates have remained steady since 1984 (Kochkin, 2005).
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