Among the most prevalent of chronic conditions affecting older adults globally, hearing loss prevalence is increasing and its impact on society growing. Untreated hearing loss diminishes ones ability to communicate and its strong association with depression and cognitive decline adds further to the burden of hearing loss. Hearing health care is rarely included in the traditional medical exam for older adults, it is typically not considered a risk factor for cognitive decline or falls, and it is not a condition for which routine screening has been recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Yet in older adults, disability typically results from many small risks acting together with different people having a different pattern of multifactorial risk (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 2010). The importance of preventive hearing health care in primary care is discussed along with a screening strategy with targeted interventions designed to target older at risk adults.
Weinstein, B. (2011). Screening for Otologic Functional Impairments in the Elderly: Whose Job is it Anyway?. Audiology Research, 1(1), e12. doi:10.4081/audiores.2011.e12.