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Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia

versão On-line ISSN 1981-2256


SAMELLI, Alessandra Giannella et al. Peripheral and central auditory assessment in among the elderly. Rev. bras. geriatr. gerontol. [online]. 2016, vol.19, n.5, pp.839-849. ISSN 1981-2256.


Presbycusis can affect different portions of the auditory system, causing impacts of varying degrees of seriousness on the daily routine of elderly persons. It is essential that the extent of the deficit as well as the degree of handicap is evaluated, so that the hearing of the elderly can be effectively rehabilitated, improving their quality of life.


To characterize the peripheral and central hearing of elderly individuals and assess their auditory handicaps.


A cross sectional observational study was performed. We evaluated 83 elderly persons (60-85 years; 33 men, 50 women) with normal hearing or sensorineural hearing loss. Individuals were divided into 3 groups according to the 3 to 6kHz hearing thresholds: G1 - mean of 0 to 39 dBHL (80 ears); G2 - mean of 40 to 59 dBHL (48 ears); G3 - mean of 60 to 120dBHL (38 ears). All individuals responded to the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly (HHIE), and underwent Pure Tone Audiometry, Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and Long Latency Response (P300) evaluation.


Men had higher auditory thresholds at frequencies from 500 to 12,000Hz (with a statistical difference between 2-8 kHz) and also significantly greater latencies for ABR components. There was no difference between genders for the P300 evaluation. Comparison between groups showed: a statistically significant difference for age; greater ABR wave latencies and interwave intervals; that questionnaire scores worsened as hearing threshold declined; and similar P300 latencies.


Elderly people have impairment throughout the auditory pathway (peripheral and central). The P300 was less accurate at identifying the losses that come with age. The HHIE demonstrated negative effects on the social life of elderly people, agreeing with the hearing thresholds found.

Palavras-chave : Elderly; Presbycusis; Evoked Potentials; Auditory; Brain Stem; Event-Related Potentials; P300; Hearing; Hearing Loss..

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