An overview of hearing impairment in older adults: Perspectives for rehabilitation with hearing aids

A. Natalizia, Manuele Casale, E. Guglielmelli, V. Rinaldi, F. Bressi, F. Salvinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hearing loss is a common problem in modern society due to the combined effects of noise, aging, disease, and heredity. According to 2005 estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), 278 million people worldwide have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears. Incidence increases with age. Approximately 31.4% of people over age 65 have hearing loss and 40% to 50% of people 75 and older have a hearing loss. Only 1 out of 5 people who could benefit from a hearing aids actually wears one. Objective: To review literature for articles that focus on hearing aids. State of the Art: Hearing aids have continuously evolved over the past 50 years, in term of styles and technology. Technological advances in hearing aids and HATS (Hearing Assistive Technologies, and Rehabilitation Services) have expanded the range of options available to improve the success of a device use. Today's hearing aids differ significantly from their analog predecessors because the application of digital signal processing has permitted many adaptive and/or automatic features. Included in the benefits of digital hearing aids are improved sound quality, multiple listening programs for different listening environments, advanced noise reduction strategies, acoustic feedback reduction, compatibility with remote control options, and flexibility in manipulation of the frequency, compression, and gain. Conclusions: The hearing aids continue to be developed to enhance the characteristics in terms of rehabilitation and acceptability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-229
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Hearing aids
  • Hearing impairment
  • Presbyacusis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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