Table of Contents
Journal of Geriatrics
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 602909, 6 pages
Review Article

Hearing Disorders and Sensorineural Aging

1Tinnitus Center European Hospital, Via Portuense 700, 00149 Rome, Italy
2Neurology and Neurophysiopathology Unit European Hospital, Via Portuense 700, 00149 Rome, Italy
3Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L’Aquila, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy

Received 22 July 2013; Revised 29 September 2013; Accepted 31 October 2013; Published 22 January 2014

Academic Editor: Martin J. Sadowski

Copyright © 2014 Alessandra Fioretti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The physiological age-related hearing loss is defined as presbycusis and it is characterized by reduced hearing sensitivity and problems in understanding spoken language especially in a noisy environment. In elderly the reduced speech recognition is generally caused by a reduction of the cochlear cells in the organ of Corti and degeneration of the central auditory pathways. In order to have a complete management strategy of central and peripheral presbycusis the diagnostic evaluation should include clinical ENT examination, standard audiological tests, and tests of central auditory function. Treatment should include not only the appropriate instruments for peripheral compensation but also auditory rehabilitative training and counseling to prevent social isolation and loss of autonomy. Other common hearing disorders in elderly are tinnitus and hyperacusis which are often undervalued. Tinnitus is characterized by the perception of a “phantom” sound due to abnormal auditory perception. Hyperacusis is defined as a reduced tolerance to ordinary environmental sounds. Furthermore auditory, visual, nociceptive, and proprioceptive systems may be involved together in a possible context of “sensorineural aging.” The aim of this review is to underline the presence of hearing disorders like tinnitus and hyperacusis which in many cases coexist with hearing loss in elderly.