The Relationship of Cognitive Function and Hearing Loss of the Elderly in the Audiologist Field
Background: Hearing loss related to age decline is well-known as presbycusis. There is approximately a half dozen types of presbycusis that include various sites of lesion which impact the effect of presbycusis on a person. Known types include sensory, neural, metabolic, mechanical, central, and indeterminate. It is difficult to for a hearing healthcare professional to know with certainty where the site of lesion is for the person affected by hearing loss; therefore, it is likely that presbycusis is a mixture of types as the audiometric configuration looks different for each person. Despite frequent differences in hearing test results, a generally “classic” display of presbycusis includes bilaterally (relatively) symmetric SNHL, absent or partial recruitment, negative history of noise exposure, and phonemic regression within word recognition scores. Discussion: It is crucial to understand that while the hearing system plays a large function role of moving sound through the ear and to the brain, the brain works diligently to process sound and bring meaning and understanding to the forefront. This means the ears and brain work together to listen to auditory stimulus and understand auditory stimulus. When either part of this system malfunctions, it can create a cause-and-effect action. Cognition is vital for mental health, capacity, and stability; however, aging is part of a natural process that not only impacts cognition, but also the ability to hear. This article focuses and discusses how aging can negatively impact both cognition and hearing. Conclusion: As aging ensues, decrease in cognitive function and hearing can be a hard transition to handle, mentally and emotionally. Sometimes, cognitive decline can be experienced first and then impact hearing or vice versa. However, hearing healthcare professionals are trained to handle how the synergistic effects of aging, cognition, and hearing loss impact the aging individual.