Hearing and Aging


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Abstract

Presbycusis, or hearing loss associated with aging, is common among older adults. It is characterized by a bilateral decrease in hearing sensitivity, particularly at higher frequencies. In addition to difficulty with sound detection, older adults frequently have difficulty understanding speech. The following article discusses changes in structure and function of the auditory system that may occur with age. Recommended clinical procedures for identification and evaluation of hearing impairment are presented. A three-part rehabilitative intervention program is described highlighting the use of sensory aids, treatment of communication problems and counseling needs.

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