Using a prototype high-frequency audiometer, auditory thresholds in the 8- to 20-kHz range were obtained from 240 subjects ranging in age from 10–60 years. These measurements were obtained in interest of developing a normative database for frequencies above 8 kHz, and to evaluate intersubject variability as a function of age. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed significant effects of frequency, age, and sex, and a significant frequency-by-age interaction. The largest changes in sensitivity with age occurred between 40 to 59 years. Below approximately 15 kHz, the intersubject variability of threshold estimates increased as a function of both age and frequency. Further analysis revealed that the age-related changes in variability were related to absolute thresholds rather than to age per se. When data are converted to dB HL (relative to the youngest group tested), the region of maximum hearing loss shifts to lower frequencies with increasing age, and threshold shifts with age are greatest in the 13- to 17-kHz range.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics