Hearing status of the elderly in nursing homes in Galicia: pilot study


  • María Covadonga Vázquez Sánchez Unidad Docente de Audiología - EUOO. Campus Vida-Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, España
  • Carlos Pio del Oro Sáez Unidad Docente de Audiología - EUOO. Campus Vida-Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, España
  • Santiago Seoane Unidad Docente de Audiología - EUOO. Campus Vida-Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, España
  • Luz María Gigirey Prieto Unidad Docente de Audiología - EUOO. Campus Vida-Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, España




hearing loss, hearing deficits, hearing screening, elderly, aging


Various studies show the close relationship between aging and decreased hearing sensitivity. Galicia occupies the third place in the ranking of Spanish regions with the highest percentage (21.6%) of elderly people (65 or over) and is the autonomous community that loses population more quickly. At the same time, in our community there is a high percentage of elderly people who report hearing problems (INEBase, 2010). However, despite this statistical evidence, no audiological study has been performed to date. Objective: To establish, through a pilot screening program developed in Galician Centers for the Third Age, the audiological bases that allow characterizing the hearing status of the elderly Galician population. Method: We evaluated 402 subjects (≥ 60 years). The audiological protocol consisted of an otoscopy, followed by a Liminar Tonal Audiometry and the Whisper Test. The diagnosis of hearing damage was made based on the international criteria of Ventry and Weinstein. Results: 58% of the residents presented hearing loss, its prevalence being higher in men (63.9% versus 54.7%). We found significant differences in the mean thresholds (p <0.05) and in the HFPTA (1-4KHz) (p <0.05) between genders, as well as in terms of age. Conclusion: Considering the demographic change experienced by Galician society, our results place hearing loss among the main public health problems of the future.


Download data is not yet available.

        Visibility and Altmetrics


Metrics Loading ...


Agrawal Y, Platz EA, Niparko JK. Prevalence of hearing loss and differences by demographic characteristics among US adults. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jul 28;168(14):1522-30 https://doi.org/10.1001/archinte.168.14.1522

Australian Hearing Annual Report 2009 [consultado en Febrero de 2011] Disponible en http://www.hearing.com/anual-reports

Brant L, Fozard J. Age changes in pure-tone hearing thresholds in a longitudinal study of normal human aging. J Acoust Soc Am. 1990 Aug; 88(2):813-20. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.399731

Bech B, Chistensen B, Parving A. The Valby Project. A survey of the hearing in the elderly >80 years of age provided with hearing aids. Scand Audiol. 1996; 25(4):247-52. https://doi.org/10.3109/01050399609074962

Catalán CE, Abellán A (2008). "Encuesta de Discapacidad, Auto-nomía personal y situaciones de Dependencia (EDAD 2008). Primeros resultados". Madrid, Portal Mayores, Informes Portal Mayores, nº87. [Fecha de publicación: 13/11/2008]. Disponible en http:// www.imsersomayores.csic.es/documentacion/estudiosyresultados/ informes/index.html.

Challengers for the 21st century. Chronic and disabling conditions. Number 2. National Academy on an aging Society. December 1999. Disponible en http://www.agingsociety.org

Clark JG. Uses and abuses of hearing loss classifi cation. ASHA.1981 Jul;23(7):493-500.

Cooper J. Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 1971- 75. Part I: Ear and race effects in hearing. J Am Acad Audiol. 1994 Jan;5(1):30-6. .

Cruickshanks KJ, Wiley TL, Tweed TS, Klein BE, Klein R, Mares- Perlman JA, Nondahl DM. Prevalence of hearing loss in older adults in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. The Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study. Am J Epidemiol. 1998 Nov 1; 148(9):879-86. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a009713

Davis AC. The prevalence of hearing impairment and reported hearing disability among adults in Great Britain. Int J Epidemiol. 1989 Dec; 18(4):911-7. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/18.4.911

Davis A. Prevalence of hearing impairment. En: Hearing in adults, chapter 3. London: Whurr Ltd, 1995; 46-45.

Eurostat, EUROPOP2008 Regional population projections. Euro- Geographics Association, for the administrative boundaries Cartography: Eurostat - GISCO. [Fecha de publicación: 1/2009]. Disponible en http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat

Gates G, Cooper J, Kannel W, Miller N. Hearing in the elderly: The Framingham Cohort, 1983-1985.Part I: Basic audiometric test results. Ear Hear. 1990 Aug;11(4):247-56 https://doi.org/10.1097/00003446-199008000-00001

Hull R. Hearing in Aging. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group. 1995

Instituto Nacional de Estadística. INEbase [Sitio web] [consultado en Noviembre de 2010].Disponible en http://www.ine.es

Jerger J, Chmiel R, Wilson N, Luchi R. Hearing impairment in older adults: new concepts. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Aug; 43(8): 928-35. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.1995.tb05539.x

Jönsson R, Rosenhall U. Hearing in advanced age. A study of presbyacusis in 85-, 88- and 90-year-old people. Audiology. 1998 Jul- Aug;37(4):207-18 https://doi.org/10.3109/00206099809072975

Karlsmose B, Lauritzen T, Parvin A. Prevalence of hearing impairment and subjective hearing problems a rural Danish population aged 31-50 years. Br J Audiol. 1999 Dec;33(6):395-402. https://doi.org/10.3109/03005364000000107

Karlsson Espmark AK, Hanson Scherman M. Hearing confi rms existence and identity-experiences from persons with presbyacusis. Int J Audiol. 2003 Mar;42(2):106-15 https://doi.org/10.3109/14992020309078341

Las Personas Mayores en España. Informe de 2008. Tomo I. Ministerio de Sanidad y Política Social. Secretaría General de Política Social. IMSERSO. 2009. [Consulta en Febrero de 2011]. Disponible en http://www.imsersomayores.csic.es

Laukli E, Molde B, Solem BS, Stenklev NC. Hearing in the elderly: a test protocol and preliminary results. Scand Audiol Suppl. 2001;(52):167-70. https://doi.org/10.1080/010503901300007425

Mäki-Torkko EM, Brorsson B, Davis A, Mair LWS, Myhre KL, Roine RP et al. Hearing impairment among adults-extent of the problem and scientifi c evidence on the outcome of hearing aid rehabilitation. Scand Audiol Suppl. 2001;(54):8-15. Review. https://doi.org/10.1080/010503901750409385

Mościcki EK, Elkins EF, Baum HM, McNamara PM. Hearing loss in the elderly: An epidemiologic study of the Framingham Heart Study Cohort. Ear Hear. 1985 Jul-Aug;6(4):184-90. https://doi.org/10.1097/00003446-198507000-00003

Mulrow CD, Aguilar C, Endicott JE, Tuley MR, Velez R, Charlip WS et al. Quality-of-life changes and hearing impairment. A randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 1990 Aug 1;113(3):188-94. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-113-3-188

Mulrow CD, Aguilar C, Endicott JE, Velez R, Tuley MR, Charlip WS et al. Association between hearing impairment and the quality of life of elderly individuals. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1990 Jan;38(1):45-50. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.1990.tb01595.x

National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders 2009. Quick Statistics.[Sitio web] [consultado el 6 de Marzo de 2009]. Disponible en http://www http://www.nided.uih.gov/health/ statisitcs/hearing.asp

Pearson JD, Morrell CH, Gordon-Salant S, Brant LJ, Metter EJ, Klein LL et al. Gender differences in a longitudinal study of ageassociated hearing loss. J Acoust Soc Am. 1995 Feb; 97(2):1196-205. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.412231

Pirozzo S, Papinczak T, Glasziou P. Whispered voice test for screening for hearing impairment in adults and children: systematic review. BMJ. 2003 Oct 25;327(7421):967. Review. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7421.967

Pleis JR, Lethbridge-Cejku M. Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2006. Vital Health Stat 10. 2007 Dec;(235):1-153. https://doi.org/10.1037/e403882008-001

Radcliffe D. Is hearing loss increasing at younger ages? Many think so, but it's hard to prove. The Hearing Journal .2000 May; 53(5):23-24, 26-29. https://doi.org/10.1097/00025572-200005000-00003

Rosenhall U, Pedersen K, Moller MB. Self-Assessment of hearing problems in a elderly population. A longitudinal study. Scand Audiol. 1987;16(4):211-7 https://doi.org/10.3109/01050398709074943

Rosenhall U, Jönsson R; Söderlind O. Self-Assessed hearing problems in Sweden: a demographic study. Audiology 1999 Nov- Dec;38(6):328-34 https://doi.org/10.3109/00206099909073044

Schow R & Nerbonne M. Hearing levels among nursing-homes residents. J Speech Hear Disord. 1980 Feb;45(1):124-32. https://doi.org/10.1044/jshd.4501.124

Ulf Rosenhall, Ann-Kristin Karlsson Espmark. Hearing aid rehabilitation: what do older people want, and what does the audiogram tell? Int J Audiol. 2003 Jul;42 Suppl 2:2S53-7. https://doi.org/10.3109/14992020309074644

Uimonen S, Mäki-Torkko E, Jounio-Ervasti K, Sorri M. Hearing in 55 to 75 year old people in northern Finland - a comparison of two classifi cations of hearing impairment. Acta Otolaryngol Suppl. 1997;529:69-70. https://doi.org/10.3109/00016489709124084

Weinstein BE, Ventry IM. Audiometric correlates of the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the elderly. J Speech Hear Disord. 1983 Nov;48(4):379-84. https://doi.org/10.1044/jshd.4804.379

Weinstein BE. Geriatric Audiology. New York: Thieme Medical Publishers,Inc ; 2000.

WHO/DIMDI. [Sitio Web]. International Statistical Classifi cation of Diseases and Related Health Problems. 10th version World Health Organization. 1994/2006 [consultado en Diciembre de 2010] Disponible en http://apps.who.int/classifi cations/apps/icd/icd10online

Portada Auditio.


2012-04-01 — Updated on 2021-09-15


How to Cite

Vázquez Sánchez, M. C., del Oro Sáez, C. P., Seoane, S., & Gigirey Prieto, L. M. (2021). Hearing status of the elderly in nursing homes in Galicia: pilot study. Auditio , 3(3), 55–60. https://doi.org/10.51445/sja.auditio.vol3.2013.0042 (Original work published April 1, 2012)



e-journal of audiology (archive before 2021 only in Spanish)

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.