27 Dec HIV+ Adults May Have Poorer Hearing
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Torre: The primary purpose of our study was to evaluate hearing sensitivity in HIV+ and HIV- adults. And subsequently, in HIV+ adults only, to examine whether HIV disease variables or treatment was associated with hearing sensitivity.
The main findings were that HIV+ adult had poorer hearing for both the lower and higher frequencies compared with HIV- adults, although we did not find any significant associations between HIV variables and treatment variables with hearing loss.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Torre: First, just that both patients and clinicians should be aware of hearing loss. And if someone with HIV has concerns about their hearing, then they should see their physician or an audiologist. Second, patients may want to include hearing testing as part of an annual medical visit or at least every two years.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Torre: he next step would be to examine how this difference in hearing sensitivity in HIV+ and HIV- adults affects speech communication. It is important to recognize hearing loss in an individual, but it is more important to determine how the hearing loss impacts the communication abilities of that individual.