We live in an age where we can communicate with friends and family members across the country and around the globe with a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a smart phone screen. However, despite advances in communications technology and the increasing connectedness it brings, research indicates that, as a society, we are lonelier than we have ever been. Perhaps no other age group feels the keen sting of loneliness more than the elderly.
One in six adults has trouble hearing and the number increases dramatically with age, with hearing loss afflicting nearly half of people 75 and older. Yet the majority of Americans with hearing loss (about 75 percent) never go to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. As otolaryngologists—doctors who specialize in conditions affecting the ear, nose and throat—we find this to be an alarming number of people who could potentially benefit from hearing loss treatment.