Reported hearing loss decreased in a study of Americans conducted between 2008 and 2017 and published in Aging and Health Research. Esme Fuller-Thomson, PhD, and a colleague used data from the American Community Survey, which each year sampled 500,000 Americans aged 65 and older. The study included 5.4 million participants whose hearing was assessed based on the question “Is this person deaf or does he/she have serious difficulty hearing?” In the earliest years between 2008 and 2017, 16.3% of older US adults reported serious hearing loss. By 2017, that had dropped to 14.8%. While hearing loss increased about 2% for men, the odds of serious hearing loss dropped 10% for women. While the reasons for these differences aren’t known, they could include anatomy, smoking habits, and noise exposure. “Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic problems affecting older adults,” Dr. Fuller-Thomson said. “More research is needed to understand the extraordinary differences in the 10-year prevalence of hearing loss between older American males and females.”