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Prevalence Of Hearing Loss, Source Of Hearing Problems And Effects On The Auditory System, Auditory Performance

The auditory system changes as a consequence of the aging process, as well as a result of exposure to environmental agents and disease. The cumulative effect of these factors over the life span is a significant hearing loss among a large proportion of adults aged sixty-five years and older. Hearing loss associated exclusively with the aging process is known as presbycusis. Deterioration of the auditory system with age leads to changes not only in hearing sensitivity, but also to a decline in processing of speech stimuli, particularly in less-than-ideal listening environments. However, there is large individual variability in the auditory abilities of older people, as well as substantial gender differences in auditory performance. Thus, generalizations about hearing in aging and the impact of decline in the auditory sense must be considered with an understanding of the range of individual differences that may occur.

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 2