Age Related Changes in Central Auditory Processing

Chambayil Susheel Swathi* and Palaniappan Vinodhini

Age Related Changes in Central Auditory Processing.

Auditory processing is the processing of information perceived through the auditory sense. Auditory discrimination, lateralization and localization of sound, auditory pattern recognition,
temporal aspects including integration, resolution, ordering and masking, auditory performance
decrements with competing or/and degraded acoustic signal are the six behavioral processes involved in auditory processing as given by American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA).
Auditory processing disorder (APD) leads to poor input and integration of the information presented verbally.

Children with APD have normal intelligence, with or without hearing impairment.10
These children exhibit behaviors similar to that of children having attention deficit and hyperactive disorder (ADHD),11 learning disability (LD).12 Keith13 has listed out the typical profile of
children with APD. This includes mostly male children, having pure tone thresholds at normal
range, poor and inconsistent response to the auditory stimuli, decreased attention span, fatigue
for auditory information, more distractible, poor localization skills, and difficulty in following
complex verbal commands, poor auditory memory and increased reaction time for auditory

Screening tests are available which initially helps in screening out children with APD from other children. Those children who fail in the screening test undergo the diagnostic evaluation for each processing skills as listed by ASHA. The management includes auditory training specific to the impairment and environmental modifications.

Some of the risk factors contribute to the central auditory processing abnormalities among the older adults. The risk factors include cognition related problems,17-19 history of stroke or heart attack20 and gender.21 Some of the other factors include, alcohol consumption and smoking, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and systolic blood pressure. Aging is a natural process which results in degradation of performance of the individual as a whole.

Otolaryngol Open J. 2016; SE(1): S1-S4. doi: 10.17140/OTLOJSE-1-101