Self-Reported Hearing Problems among Older Adults: Prevalence and Comparison to Measured Hearing Impairment
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
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.
Adult, hearing, hyperacusis, self-reported, tinnitus
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-72035DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.22.8.7ISI: 000296128000007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-72035DiVA: diva2:455973
Funding Agencies|European ARHI Project|QLRT-2001-00331|2011-11-112011-11-112011-11-11