Medical Rounds with Dr. Kelly Grim

Hearing loss is a common condition that occurs as we age Dr. Kelly Grim, a clinical audiologist at Hartford Hospital, talks about this topic and new treatment options



Q. How common is hearing loss?
A. Hearing loss is the 3rd most prevalent chronic condition in adults following hypertension and arthritis.  1 in 3 people over the age of 60 has hearing loss.  The CDC recently put out a report showing many people are developing hearing loss earlier in their lives than we initially thought, most likely due to recreational noise exposure.

Q. What is the most common myth regarding hearing loss?
A. “My hearing is normal for my age." In reality, there are no norms for hearing.  Because hearing loss is such a gradual process and varies from person to person depending on genetics and other medical factors, a degree of hearing loss is not associated with a specific age group.  What this suggests is that everyone should get a baseline as early as possible or mild hearing loss may not be as obvious.

Q. What are some consequences of untreated hearing loss?
A. Unfortunately, dementia and cognitive disorders.  Recent studies indicate that those with untreated hearing loss experience 30-40% greater decline in cognitive abilities than those without hearing loss.  And some medical conditions can show themselves as no other symptoms other than hearing loss, so a medical workup is very important to rule out potentially life threatening processes.

Q. What is the best treatment for hearing loss?
A. At this time, hearing aids.  Because the age of first time users is so much younger than in the past, the devices are smaller, easier to use and more cosmetically appealing than ever.  There is also special technology that's integrated into the hearing aids that will help people who suffer from tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.


For more information

Free Class: Understanding Hearing Loss

Visit: Hearing & Balance Center


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