Auditory Dysfunction and Remediation Associated with Everyday Listening of Older Adults

Hearing loss and related auditory deficits are nearly ubiquitous in the elderly population and can have profound impact on general health, well-being, financial stability, and quality of life. Nevertheless, these deficits are under diagnosed and under treated. When treatment is sought, strategies lack focus on comprehensive remediation targets. Effective solutions to deficits associated with age-related hearing loss (ARHL) should address remediation targets that include speech in noise, temporal processing, spatial hearing, loudness perception, and tinnitus. We will highlight age-related changes in the peripheral auditory system, the central auditory system, and cognitive mechanisms that interact with auditory function to exacerbate age-related decline. Electrophysiological indices of auditory dysfunction will be discussed in the context of biomarkers and outcome measures. The impact of auditory dysfunction on perception leads to logical remediation targets. The benefit and limitations of contemporary remediation strategies will be discussed in the context of the current service delivery systems in North America. The ability to improve benefit and overcome limitations through emerging treatment approaches and alternate service delivery models will be highlighted.

Learning Objectives:
After completing this activity, participants will be able to:
1. Understand the nature of auditory dysfunction associated with ARHL.
2. Describe the impact that those deficits have on everyday listening.
3. Identify potential remediation targets for ARHL.