Key Points

Eighty percent of older American adults have untreated hearing loss. Hearing loss is associated with decreased quality of life, depression, communication disorders, social withdrawal and cognitive impairment.  This Geriatric Gem and Pearl reviews two types of hearing loss – sensorineural and nose-induced hearing loss.  Presbycusis is another term for age-related sensorineural hearing loss (ARHL) where damage to the cochlea, acoustic nerve (Cranial Nerve VIII), or Internal Auditory canal  can cause high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss  Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is related to direct mechanical injury to sensory hair cells in the cochlea from continuous noise exposure. 

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Older Adult Hearing Loss and Screening