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JAMA Patient Page
July 4, 2007

Adult Hearing Loss

JAMA. 2007;298(1):130. doi:10.1001/jama.298.1.130

Hearing loss is a common problem among older individuals. Approximately 25% to 40% of adults older than 65 years have some degree of hearing loss, and it is estimated that 40% to 66% of people 75 years or older have hearing loss. Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition among older Americans after high blood pressure and arthritis. The July 4, 2007, issue of JAMA includes an article about hearing loss caused by a particular kind of tumor. This Patient Page is based on one previously published in the April 16, 2003, issue of JAMA.

There are two major forms of hearing loss: conductive and sensorineural. A clinical examination by an otolaryngologist (a doctor specializing in the ears, nose, and throat) and a hearing test by an audiologist (an expert in hearing testing and hearing aids) can determine the type of hearing loss.