INTRODUCTION: Hearing loss in the elderly can decrease the quality of life by impairing their hearing as well as by causing depression and social isolation. Hearing aids used to remedy hearing impairment can decrease the quality of life and disrupt the persons physical health, mental health, and social relations due to the noise from the device, the inability to understand sounds, the unwillingness to appear as disabled, and the discomfort due to cosmetic appearance. This meta-analysis was performed to examine the effects of hearing aid use on the quality of life.
METHODS: PubMed, Cochrane, Elsevier, Google Scholar, and Google Academic databases were scanned using the following keywords: geriatric, hearing aid, and quality of life.. Overall, 10,566 articles were identified. Seven articles were identified to be eligible for the analysis.
RESULTS: Overall, 874 individuals were evaluated from the seven articles. Three articles reported a decrease in the quality of life with hearing aid use, whereas four articles reported an increase. Analysis of the articles revealed that hearing aid use increased quality of life; however, this result was not statistically significant.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: We determined that hearing aid use can either improve or decrease the quality of life. Moreover, the relevant ratios were extremely similar to one another. Although hearing aid use is particularly common in the elderly, there are individuals who do not use hearing aids or who quit using them. Notably, these factors could be related to the quality of life, and patients who are recommended to use hearing aids must be informed accordingly.