Current trends in treating hearing loss in elderly people

Current trends in treating hearing loss in elderly people: a review of the technology and treatment options, a mini-review

 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by 2025 there will be approximately 1.2 billion people in the world over the age of 60, which marks a shift in world population to a greater proportion of older people. An estimated 70–80% of adults between 65 and 75 years of age suffer from presbycusis, or age-related, bilateral sensorineural hearing loss (HL) in the high frequencies.
Presbycusis is correlated with decreased quality of life (QoL) and depression and according to WHO, is a leading cause of years lived with disability in the adult years.
Objective The purpose of the current study was to review the body of literature on treatment options and considerations for the elderly population, as there is a variety of audio-technology available today to treat presbycusis.
Methods A PubMed literature search was conducted using the keywords ‘presbycusis/
presbyacusis/geriatric AND hearing aids/cochlear implants/electric acoustic stimulation/middle ear implants’ and ‘elderly AND cochlear implants’.
References were also mined from papers found. Results: 431 articles were considered in this review of treatment options for elderly patients suffering from presbycusis.
Conclusion: Hearing aids and cochlear implants (CIs) are the most commonly used devices for treating mild-severe presbycusis. Reported outcomes with hearing aids indicate they are an effective method for treating mild-moderate HL in cases where the patient is appropriately fitted and is willing, motivated, and able to use the device.
Depending on the type and severity of the HL and the specific needs of the patient, electric-acoustic stimulation
and active middle ear implants may also be appropriate solutions for treating presbycusis. Finally, very positive QoL and speech perception outcomes have been documented in treating severe-profound presbycusis with CIs. In some studies, QoL outcomes have even exceeded expectations of elderly patients.

Key Words
Presbycusis - Hearing loss in the elderly - Adults with hearing loss - Sensorineural hearing loss - Cochlear
implants - Hearing aids - Amplification

Date: 07/30/2012
Author: G.M. Sprinzl; H. Riechelmann
Organization: Universitätsklinik für Hals-, Nasen- und Ohrenheilkunde, Innsbruck, Austria
Reference: Gerontology 2010; 56: 351-358
Only for Members: No
Content type: Good practises
Tags: cochlear implants, amplification, hearing loss, presbycusis, sensorineural hearing loss
Categories: Medical & Functions, Ear - Hearing imp, Skills