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Clinical evaluation of central auditory processing functions in the elderly




Central auditory processing dysfunction is a general term that is applied to individuals whose hearing in quiet settings is normal or almost normal, and yet who have substantial hearing difficulty in the presence of auditory stressors such as competing noise and other difficult hearing situations. It is noticed that the prevalence of central auditory processing dysfunction increases with age.


Evaluation of the effects of aging on central auditory processing in elderly individuals who report good hearing sensitivity.


Thirty elderly individuals ranging in age from 60 to 75 years, right-handed, and who reported good hearing sensitivity participated in this study. The results of the synthetic sentence identification with an ipsilateral competitive message (SSI–ICM) and staggered spondee words (SSW) tests were compared with those of 15 young adults ranging in age from 20 to 40 years with normal hearing sensitivity as a control group.


The findings of the study showed a statistically significant difference between the control group and the elderly group in terms of SSI, with a lower percentage in the elderly group. The results of the SSW test showed that there was a significant difference in scoring between competing and noncompeting conditions, with more affection in the competing condition in both the control and the elderly groups. When we compared the control group and the elderly group in terms of the SSW error score in the competing condition in both ears, it was found that there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups, with more error scores in the elderly group.


Central auditory processing is affected by aging as shown by the lower percentage of results of the SSI–ICM test and more errors in the SSW test mainly in the competing conditions relative to the control group.


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Correspondence to Soha Mohamed Hamada.

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Hamada, S.M., El Sebie Besher, A., Omara, A.A.M. et al. Clinical evaluation of central auditory processing functions in the elderly. Egypt J Otolaryngol 28, 208–213 (2012).

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  • central auditory processing
  • staggered spondaic words
  • synthetic sentence identification