Document Type



Medicine and Health Sciences


The prevailing otolaryngologic approach to treatment of age-related hearing loss (ARHL), presbycusis, emphasizes compensation of peripheral functional deficits (i.e., hearing aids and cochlear implants). This approach does not address adequately the needs of the geriatric population, one in five of whom is expected to consist of the “old old” in the coming decades. Aging affects both the peripheral and central auditory systems, and disorders of executive function become more prevalent with advancing age. Growing evidence supports an association between age-related hearing loss and cognitive decline. Thus, to facilitate optimal functional capacity in our geriatric patients, a more comprehensive management strategy of ARHL is needed. Diagnostic evaluation should go beyond standard audiometric testing and include measures of central auditory function including dichotic tasks and speech-in-noise testing. Treatment should include not only appropriate means of peripheral compensation, but also auditory rehabilitative training and counseling.


Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2013 December 12. Published in final edited form as: Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013 April; 148(4): 10.1177/0194599813477596. Published online 2013 February 8. doi: 10.1177/0194599813477596 PMCID: PMC3860740 NIHMSID: NIHMS536278