Older people actually hear music as louder, new reports show. Presbycusis, an age-related hearing problem, means that older people find background music drowns out conversation even at levels younger people do not notice.
Age-related hearing loss, called presbycusis, is characterised by loss of hair cells in the base of the cochlea, or inner ear, that are attuned to capture and transmit high-frequency sounds,
says Dr. Anil K. Lalwani, director of otology, neurotology and skull-base surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, New York.
Loss of high-frequency hearing leads to deterioration in the ability to distinguish words in conversation. Additionally, any noise in the environment leads to even greater loss in clarity of hearing. Contrary to expectation, presbycusis is also associated with sensitivity to loud noises.
As the overall population ages, governments and businesess should take notice.