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Self-Reported Hearing Problems among Older Adults: Prevalence and Comparison to Measured Hearing Impairment
University of Oulu.
University of Oulu.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Technical Audiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
University of Oulu.
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2011 (English)In: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF AUDIOLOGY, ISSN 1050-0545, Vol. 22, no 8, 550-559 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: There are not many population-based epidemiological studies on the association between self-reported hearing problems and measured hearing thresholds in older adults. Previous studies have shown that the relationship between self-reported hearing difficulties and measured hearing thresholds is unclear and, according to our knowledge, there are no previous population-based studies reporting hearing thresholds among subjects with hyperacusis. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanPurpose: The aim was to investigate the prevalence of self-reported hearing problems, that is, hearing difficulties, difficulties in following a conversation in noise, tinnitus, and hyperacusis, and to compare the results with measured hearing thresholds in older adults. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanResearch Design: Cross-sectional, population-based, and unscreened. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanStudy Sample: Random sample of subjects (n = 850) aged 54-66 yr living in the city of Oulu (Finland) and the surrounding areas. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanData Collection and Analysis: Otological examination, pure tone audiometry, questionnaire survey less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanResults: The prevalence of self-reported hearing problems was 37.1% for hearing difficulties, 43.3% for difficulties in following a conversation in noise, 29.2% for tinnitus, and 17.2% for hyperacusis. More than half of the subjects had no hearing impairment, or HI (BEHL[better ear hearing level](0.5-4 kHz) andlt; 20 dB HL) even though they reported hearing problems. Subjects with self-reported hearing problems, including tinnitus and hyperacusis, had significantly poorer hearing thresholds than those who did not report hearing problems. Self-reported hearing difficulties predicted hearing impairment in the pure-tone average at 4, 6, and 8 kHz, and at the single frequency of 4 kHz. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanConclusions: The results indicate that self-reported hearing difficulties are more frequent than hearing impairment defined by audiometric measurement. Furthermore, self-reported hearing difficulties seem to predict hearing impairment at high frequencies (4-8 kHz) rather than at the frequencies of 0.5-4 kHz, which are commonly used to define the degree of hearing impairment in medical and legal issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Academy of Audiology , 2011. Vol. 22, no 8, 550-559 p.
Keyword [en]
Adult, hearing, hyperacusis, self-reported, tinnitus
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-72035DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.22.8.7ISI: 000296128000007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-72035DiVA: diva2:455973
Note
Funding Agencies|European ARHI Project|QLRT-2001-00331|Available from: 2011-11-11 Created: 2011-11-11 Last updated: 2011-11-11

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Mäki-Torkko, Elina

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