Hearing loss is common but not untreatable
One in three people over the age of 65 has hearing loss that affects their ability to communicate with family and friends2. Contrary to general belief, losing our hearing as we age is not always inevitable – and there are proven treatments available, even when hearing aids are no longer enough.
Hearing loss with age:
Common misconceptions are that cochlear implants are only available to the young. In fact, cochlear implants are effective for people of a wide range of ages.
Good hearing is essential for healthy ageing2
Global research4 underlines the important link between hearing and healthy ageing, and supports our understanding of how hearing affects overall health and wellbeing.
People believe hearing loss can…
A significant health issue
Nearly nine out of 10 people who have a close family member with hearing loss say it affects communication with their loved ones4. However, in most cases, it comes on gradually and without pain, so the seriousness of this condition is often overlooked or dismissed as inevitable.
Left untreated, hearing loss leads to people becoming socially isolated and less independent, which puts a strain on families and friendships. Hearing loss is also associated with other serious health issues, such as cognitive decline5, depression7-8 and falls9. In some cases, it even has a financial impact, when it affects the ability to stay in work4.
Treatment for lifelong hearing
Many people are unaware of other treatment options that are available when hearing aids are no longer enough.
When hearing aids are no longer enough, cochlear implants may be a solution. Cochlear implants treat advanced hearing loss, by directly stimulating the cochlea.
Cochlear implants are proven to be more effective for speech recognition in a range of situations over hearing aids4 (for example in conversation at a café or restaurant, talking on the phone, listening to the radio and watching TV).
If hearing loss is affecting the way you live and stopping you from doing what you enjoy, it may be time to think about your treatment options. If you are dissatisfied with your hearing aids, talk to your audiologist and ask if a cochlear implant might work for you.
1. Wilkerson BJ1, Porps SF, Babu SC. The Impact of Comorbidities in the Aging Population on Cochlear Implant Outcomes. Otol Neurotol. 2017 Sep;38(8):e285-e288. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000001501.
2. World Health Organization. Deafness & Hearing Loss Factsheet. Available at https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss
3. World Health Organization. Ageing and health Factsheet. Available at https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health
4. The State of Hearing Report, conducted by Edelman for Cochlear, December 2018
5. Livingston G, Sommerlad A, Orgeta V, Costafreda S, Huntley J, Mukadam N, et al. The Lancet Commissions: Dementia prevention, intervention, and care.
The Lancet [serial on the Internet]. (2017, Dec 16); 3902673-2734.
6. Clinical Evaluation of the Cochlear Nucleus CI532 Cochlear Implants in Adults. 2019 Jan; Data on file.
7. Hsu W, Hsu C, Wen M, Lin H, Tsai H, Hsu Y, et al. Increased risk of depression in patients with acquired sensory hearing loss: A 12-year follow-up study.
Medicine [serial on the Internet]. (2016, Nov); 95(44): e5312.
8. Barnett S. A hearing problem. American Family Physician [serial on the Internet]. (2002, Sep 1); 66(5): 911.
9. Stam M, Kostense P, Lemke U, Merkus P, Smit J, Kramer S, et al. Comorbidity in adults with hearing difficulties: which chronic medical conditions are
related to hearing impairment? International Journal Of Audiology [serial on the Internet]. (2014, June); 53(6): 392-401.