An Overview of Dual Sensory Impairment in Older Adults: Perspectives for Rehabilitation

Gabrielle H. Saunders, Katharina V. Echt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Dual sensory impairment (DSI) refers to the presence of both hearing loss and vision loss. The occurrence of DSI is particularly prevalent among the aging population, with studies showing between 9% and 21% of adults older than 70 years having some degree of DSI. Despite this, there is little direction regarding recommended clinical practice and rehabilitation of individuals with DSI. It is assumed that the problems encountered by individuals with DSI are considerably greater than the effects of vision impairment or hearing impairment alone, because when these two sensory impairments are combined, the individual is seriously deprived of compensatory strategies that make use of the nonimpaired sense. In this article, the literature available regarding DSI is summarized, and research needs regarding rehabilitation strategies are outlined and discussed. Simple suggestions for addressing DSI are provided that use available tools and technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-258
Number of pages16
JournalTrends in Amplification
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • dual sensory impairment
  • hearing loss
  • rehabilitation
  • vision loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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