Presbycusis: A Critical Issue in Our Community


Hearing is an important sensation to the elderly as it promotes their quality of life and maintains their safety and wellness. For example, healthy hearing lets the elderly catch alarm sounds, stay alert to danger whilst asleep, listen in the dark, detect sounds from behind, communicate efficiently with other people, and maintain links to the world via telephone and radio, especially after retirement. However, age-related hearing loss, i.e., presbycusis, seems to become a growing problem in our community. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate whether presbycusis is a critical issue in our community. To achieve this purpose, the data in the literature as well as in the websites sponsored by hearing-related professional associations and sponsored by related government’s departments have been searched and reviewed. The data resulted from the review show a high prevalence of presbycusis, an ever-growing senior population, an incredible increase in hearing impairment and presbycusis population in the next two decades, a rank as high as at the third place for the prevalence of presbycusis among chronic health conditions in elderly resident facilities, and an alarmingly negative effect of presbycusis on mental health, social life, speech perception and hearing-related areas in the brain. These findings demonstrate that hearing loss in the elderly is a critical issue in our community. The etiology, clinical significance, management of presbycusis, prevention, and access of presbycusis population to assistive devices are also overviewed and discussed.

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M. Zhang, N. Gomaa and A. Ho, "Presbycusis: A Critical Issue in Our Community," International Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2013, pp. 111-120. doi: 10.4236/ijohns.2013.24025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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