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March 21, 2012

Hearing Loss in Older Adults: Who's Listening?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center on Aging and Health, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland.

JAMA. 2012;307(11):1147-1148. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.321

The manifestations of age-related hearing loss (ARHL) in many older adults are subtle1—having to increase the volume of the television, missing words of a conversation—and hence, hearing loss is often perceived as an unfortunate but inconsequential part of aging. This observation is borne out by the epidemiologic data, which report that although 26.7 million US adults aged 50 years or older have a clinically significant hearing loss, fewer than 15% use hearing aids.2

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