Ask the Audiologist

By Timothy J. Roupas, Au.D. –

Ask the AudiologistQ: Is it true that everyone loses their hearing as we age?

A: Some individuals retain good hearing sensitivity throughout adulthood.  However, the prevalence of hearing loss does increase with age:

  • Approximately 15% of younger adults under age 65 have hearing loss
  • Approximately 30% of adults over age 65 have hearing loss
  • Approximately 50% of older adults (age 75+) have hearing loss

Although age is the most common factor – hearing loss is also associated with noise exposure, genetics, otosclerosis, Meniere’s disease, infections, toxicity, head injury, autoimmune disease and acoustic nerve tumors.

Q: I have heard that untreated hearing loss causes Alzheimer’s disease.  Is this possible?
My mother now has Alzheimer’s and she has had hearing loss for many years.

A: Researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the National Institute on Aging recently discovered a relationship between untreated hearing loss and the likelihood of developing dementia.   Although the reason for the relationship between hearing loss and dementia is unknown at this time – researchers suggest these cases of dementia may be a result of the deprivation of sound over an extended period, leading to a decline in cognitive functioning.   Further research is being conducted to investigate this relationship.

If you have a question related to hearing loss or any other related Audiology topic, please email them to For more information or to schedule an initial consultation, please call our office at (239) 434-0086 or visit us online at


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