One in three Americans over the age of 65 suffer some degree of hearing impairment. By the age of 85, fifty-eight percent have hearing loss in one or both ears. But like any other part of the body that becomes less effective with age, a healthy lifestyle can minimize the damage. New surgical techniques developed over the past few decades can restore hearing loss from certain diseases or conditions. Chronic otitis (OH-TIGHT-IS) media, a common disease of the middle ear, was once treated with drugs, with only limited success. You can now have microsurgery to alleviate the condition and prevent it from causing permanent damage. New technology continues to produce products and procedures that may prevent hearing loss in an ever increasing number of senior citizens. If you suspect that you may be experiencing hearing loss, consult an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may even need to see an audiologist and have a hearing test.