More Than 60 Percent Of Older Americans Experience Hearing Loss, Study Shows

Hearing loss runs rampant in older Americans

New research explains that more than 60 percent of Americans over the age of 70 years old experience some level of hearing loss, but many black Americans notice less hearing loss than others.

The study was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Aging and Johns Hopkins University.

This study provides insight on an often forgotten topic, and was published online in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

Researchers explained that while hearing loss has generally been ignored, other health problems may be linked, including dementia and Alzheimer’s.

For the study, researchers studied data from surveys including hearing tests on those over the age of 70 years old.

When looking at data from more than 700 participants, researchers discovered 63 percent of those surveyed had some hearing loss. Trends showed more severe hearing loss for older individuals, and also for males. Additionally, being black appeared to have protective qualities for hearing loss, as only 43 percent of blacks had hearing loss in this particular survey.

While more than 60 percent of those surveyed experienced hearing loss, researchers discovered that hearing aid usage is as low as 20 percent.

Additional studies are being conducted to see if the use of hearing aids may prevent cognitive decline for those with hearing loss.