Hearing loss hits a third of over 50s

February 20, 2012 by , filed under: Senior Health 

People fail to get a hearing device because they cannot afford it or do not believe they need one.

Almost a third of Americans over the age of 50 have lost some of their hearing and could need a hearing aid, according to a recent study.

Published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the research highlighted that many people believe hearing loss is a normal part of ageing and are not concerned about it. Others choose not to get one because they do not think their insurance will cover it.

Senior author of the study Dr. Frank Lin said: “There’s still a perception among the public and many medical professionals that hearing loss is an inconsequential part of the aging process and you can’t do anything about it. We want to turn that idea around.”

He added: “Understanding current rates of hearing loss treatment is important, as evidence is beginning to surface that hearing loss is associated with poorer cognitive functioning and the risk of dementia.”

Researchers used records from people who took part in theĀ U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted between 1999 and 2006. They found that 23 million people could benefit from a hearing aid.

Just under 15% of people over the age of 50 currently use hearing aids.

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