Presbycusis Follow-up

Updated: Mar 29, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Saadi, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

Patients with presbycusis require routine follow-up care with an otolaryngologist and audiologist to monitor hearing thresholds, order changes in amplification device specifications as hearing thresholds change, and monitor the patient for other signs and symptoms of ear disease that individuals with impaired hearing may overlook.

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Further Inpatient Care

Inpatient care is not necessary for patients with presbycusis.

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Prognosis

Unfortunately, the prognosis for patients with presbycusis is further progression of hearing loss. The rate of hearing loss has been estimated at 0.7-1.2 dB per year and is age and frequency dependent. This disease has no cure. However, the progression of loss is slow, and patients may be able to expect many years of serviceable, though diminished, hearing.

Warn patients with presbycusis against preventable causes of hearing loss, which may exacerbate or accelerate their disease (eg, noise exposure, exposure to ototoxic drugs, failure to control diabetes and other metabolic diseases).

A literature review by Thomson et al indicated that in older adults, hearing loss is a risk factor for dementia. [31] A study by Su et al came to a similar conclusion, finding the hazard ratio for dementia in persons with age-related hearing loss to be 1.30. [32]  A meta-analysis demonstrated that such hearing loss is significantly associated with cognitive impairment and dementia but not with Alzheimer disease. [33]

An Australian study, by Strutt et al, found that persons aged 70-90 years with moderate to severe hearing problems had, over a 6-year follow-up period, 1.5 times the risk of exhibiting neurocognitive disorder. However, while hearing loss was determined to be an independent risk factor for mild cognitive impairment, it was not for dementia. [34]

At this time, age-related hearing loss is a possible modifiable risk factor for neurocognitive deficits and dementia; however, additional research is necessary to determine a causal relationship.

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Patient Education

For patient education resources, see the Ear, Nose, and Throat Center and Senior Health Center, as well as Hearing Loss.

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