Hearing loss in older age and its effect on the individuals, their families and the community

Catherine M. McMahon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Relationships are central to social well-being and emotional resilience across the lifespan, and good hearing and communication is integral to their establishment and maintenance. However, hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions of ageing and significantly affects communication. Age-related hearing loss (ARHL), also known as presbycusis, typically is slowly progressive and commonly managed many years after being identified, increasing the risk of social withdrawal, early retirement, depression and mortality, and other negative consequences. ARHL occurs as the combination of environmental exposures, vascular insults, trauma, genetic predisposition, and metabolic changes. Further, it is associated with other age-related medical and health conditions, such as falls and dementia, although the relationship between these remains unclear. Despite multiple studies reporting that hearing devices are associated with positive outcomes in speech, communication and quality of life measures, the uptake and use of these is relatively low in many countries. As hearing loss is expected to rise with the ageing population, it is considered a major public health problem that needs to be addressed in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenetics of deafness
EditorsB. Vona , T. Haaf 
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783318058550
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameMonographs in Human Genetics
ISSN (Print)0077-0876


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