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Original Articles
June 1961

A Study of Hearing in Advanced Age

Arch Otolaryngol. 1961;73(6):662-674. doi:10.1001/archotol.1961.00740020676009

Bunch1 was the first investigator to demonstrate quantitatively the progressive diminution of hearing acuity for pure tones, particularly of the high frequencies, as a function of age. Later studies2-3 confirmed his findings. As a result of this research, the American Standards Association4 established curves of average hearing level for men and for women to age 65 inclusive. Later curves of the average hearing level to be expected with age were published from the Wisconsin Hearing Survey data.5-6 None of the large-scale studies included norms for tonal acuity above age 65. However, Sataloff and Menduke7 reported data for the age range of 64 to 91 years. They found very little additional hearing decrement for pure tones after age 65, and interpreted their finding to be consonant with previous research. There was, however, considerable variability in tonal acuity in advanced age.

In England, Hinchcliffe8-9 has recently

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