Publication

Hearing Loss and Healthy Aging - Workshop Summary


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Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

The ability to communicate is a cornerstone of healthy aging. When they are unable to communicate, people with hearing impairments can become socially isolated, which can be an important driver of morbidity and mortality in older adults. Despite the critical importance of communication, many older adults have hearing loss that interferes with their social interactions and enjoyment of life. People may miss words in a conversation, go to fewer public places, or worry about missing an alarm. Despite rapidly advancing technologies and innovative approaches to hearing health care, fewer than one in seven older Americans with hearing loss use hearing aids.

On January 13-14, 2014, the IOM and the National Research Council held a workshop to examine the ways in which age-related hearing loss affects healthy aging, and how public and private stakeholders can work together to address hearing loss in older adults as a public health issue. This document summarizes the workshop.