Main Article Content
Objective: To survey hearing and balance problems of a sampling group of Thai elders in the central region of Thailand.
Methods: A population study was people aged 60 and over who agreed to join the survey at the 14 elderly social associations. The questionnaires were used as a self-report for hearing and balance problems. After ears examination by ENT specialists, the participants underwent air-conduction audiometry for hearing screening.
Results: 828 participants 259 (31.3%) males and 569 (68.7%) females, age ranged from 60 to 97 (median=68, mean ± SD = 69.65 ± 6.89 years), had completed screening program for hearing and balance problems using both questionnaires and examinations. There was a statistically significant correlation between self-report hearing loss and severe or profound hearing loss in both ears (P <0.05). All age groups reported dizziness and vertigo but the elderly over 75 years reported more falls with a statistical significance (P=0.021). The elderly who did not report dizziness or vertigo had a1.1-1.6 times higher fall histories than those who reported (P <0.001). The participants who had hypertension and dyslipidemia reported more falls with statistical significances (P=0.025 and 0.036 respectively).
Conclusion: Our hearing and balance questionnaires may be used as a tool for screening at a primary care for the elderly > 70 years old especially in those with underlying diseases. Hearing and balance screening will provide early detection and primary intervention to minimize the negative impact in the elderly’s daily life.
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