Dual sensory loss: A major age-related increase of comorbid hearing loss and hearing aid ownership in visually impaired adults

H.L. Vreeken, G.H.M.B. van Rens, D.L. Knol, N.A. van Reijen, S.E. Kramer, J.M. Festen, R.M.A. van Nispen

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Aim: Despite increasing interest in visual and hearing impairment in the older population, little attention has been paid to concurrent hearing and vision loss, also known as dual sensory loss. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of comorbid hearing disability and hearing aid ownership in visually impaired older adults. Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, a self-report hearing disability screener was administered to 1396 visually impaired patients (aged ≥50 years) of outpatient low vision rehabilitation centers in the Netherlands and Belgium. Results: Of all participants, 44.8% (95% CI 42.2-47.5) had insufficient or poor hearing; the prevalence increased quadratically with age. Of all dual sensory impaired participants, 31.2% in the Netherlands and 55.7% in Belgium did not own hearing aids. Conclusions: The high prevalence of dual sensory loss calls for more awareness of related problems in these patients. Differences between the Netherlands and Belgium regarding hearing aid ownership might be due to different criteria used for hearing aid referral and insurance policies. For patients with dual sensory loss, specialized care implemented in low vision rehabilitation seems warranted. © 2013 Japan Geriatrics Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)570-576
    JournalGeriatrics & Gerontology International
    Volume14
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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