Introduction and Overview
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Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is one of the top three most common chronic health conditions affecting individuals aged 65 years and older (Pleis and Lethbridge-Çejku 2007). Applying a conservative estimate of the prevalence rate of ARHL (50%) among the population 65 years and older to US Census Bureau projections of the population, there are approximately 20 million senior citizens in the United States with significant hearing loss at present, and this number will soar to 36 million by the year 2030 (Agrawal et al. 2008; US Census Bureau 2008; note that in Cruickshanks, Zhan, and Zhong, Chapter 9, the prevalence of ARHL projected for the year 2030 is higher because it includes those aged 45 years and older). The high prevalence of ARHL compels audiologists, otolaryngologists, and auditory neuroscientists alike to understand the neural, genetic, and molecular mechanisms underlying this disorder so that effective prevention, intervention, and rehabilitative strategies can be developed to ameliorate the myriad of behavioral manifestations. This volume presents an overview of contemporary research trends on ARHL from interrelated disciplines whose studies aim to meet this compelling need. The intended audience includes advanced undergraduate and graduate students, basic and applied biomedical and communication sciences researchers, and practicing clinicians who are concerned with understanding auditory mechanisms and improving hearing health care for elderly individuals.
KeywordsHearing Loss Interaural Time Difference Endocochlear Potential Auditory Periphery Informational Masking
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