Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Hearing Loss

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_1135-1



Hearing loss can occur when any part of the ear or auditory (hearing) system does not function properly, resulting in impaired auditory sensitivity. Hearing loss can be assessed using objective and self-report techniques. The gold standard for objectively assessing hearing sensitivity is pure-tone audiometry, which measures the lowest intensity level at which an individual can detect calibrated pure tones in a specific frequency range in order to classify hearing thresholds relative to average normal hearing. Self-reported measures of hearing problems may include single-item screening questions or hearing questionnaires that aim to capture hearing disability.


Hearing loss is one of the most common health problems in later life (Lin et al. 2011b; Whitson et al. 2018), affecting 27.3% of individuals aged 65–74 and 45.1% of individuals aged 75 and older in the United States (CDC 2017)....

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Communication SciencesDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Population Health SciencesDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Center for the Study of Aging and Human DevelopmentDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Danan Gu
    • 1
  • Leilani Feliciano
    • 2
  1. 1.United Nations Population DivisionNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.University of Colorado at Colorado SpringsColorado SpringsUSA