Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Hearing Loss and Aging: Implications for the Professional Musician

Miriam A. Henoch Kris Chesky
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 14 Number 2: Page 76 (June 1999)

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Abstract: It is relatively common knowledge that hearing loss can result as a function of aging. Among the adult population, the audiologist in general practice sees more audiometric configurations for which the designation presbycusis can be applied than any other type of hearing disorder.1 Presbycusis may extend beyond perceiving acoustic information, can have significant effects on mental, social, and physical well-being, and can be a major factor in retirement considerations.2-4
Presbycusis is the defining etiology of hearing loss due to aging. The term is most commonly used to describe auditory dysfunction of the conductive, sensory, and neural areas of the peripheral auditory pathway. However, auditory dysfunction associated with age extends beyond the peripheral mechanisms and includes the central auditory pathways from brainstem to cortex.5-8 Together these age-related changes affect both how the acoustic signal is received and how it is processed.

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