06.04.2023 | Themenschwerpunkt
Update on surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for age-related hearing loss
Erschienen in: Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und GeriatrieEinloggen, um Zugang zu erhalten
Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is one of the most common chronic conditions that impacts on everyday life far beyonds speech understanding. Chronic hearing loss has been associated with social isolation, depression, and cognitive decline. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are recommended.
To give an overview of surgical and non-surgical treatment options for ARHL and the gap between the high prevalence of ARHL and its inadequate treatment to date.
Material and methods
A selective literature search was carried out in PubMed.
In case of mild to moderate hearing loss, provision of air conduction hearing aids is still the method of choice as it leads to a large benefit in speech understanding and hearing-specific quality of life, and to a slight improvement in overall quality of life. Implantable middle ear systems are used for the treatment of special types of hearing impairment. In case of severe to profound hearing loss, cochlear implantation should be considered; however, only a small number of older people with hearing loss are supplied with hearing aids or cochlear implants despite the well-known benefits of both. This also applies to high-income countries where the costs are covered by health insurance funds.
Considering the low rate of properly treated people with hearing loss, large-scale screening programs, including better counselling of older people, should be developed.