Hearing loss is common but often ignored

Nearly two-thirds of Americans 70 and older suffer from hearing loss ranging from mild to severe. These findings come from what may be the first study to evaluate the prevalence of hearing impairment among our neighbours to the south.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans 70 and older suffer from hearing loss ranging from mild to severe. These findings come from what may be the first study to evaluate the prevalence of hearing impairment among our neighbours to the south.

Researchers analyzed data from 715 elderly individuals whose hearing was examined as part of the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey in 2005 and 2006. Sixty-three percent of participants over the age of 70 were found to be suffering from hearing impairment affecting their ability to follow conversations. Hearing loss was more common in men than in women, and significantly less common in black adults (43 percent) than in Caucasians (64 percent).

Persons suffering from hearing loss tend to isolate themselves. Hearing impairment may at cause when individuals avoid social situations, withdraw from conversations, often need to turn up the television or radio volume, often ask others to speak more slowly, clearly or loudly, or have trouble following conversations in a crowd or when there is background noise.

Hearing loss should not be neglected, especially since it can be remedied. If you suspect hearing impairment in yourself or a loved one, see an audiologist, either through your CLSC or a private practice. Visit the website of the Ordre des orthophonistes et audiologistes du Québec (French only) for information on their services and how to regain the joys of good hearing!

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