Inflammaging and presbyacusis is a topic that few audiologists consider in their daily clinical routine due to lack of training in this area. Inflammaging is a chronic state of inflammation present throughout the body. The classic 1965 work by Rosen and Pikka laid the groundwork documenting the co-morbidity of hearing loss and cardio-vascular disease. The current work explores the relationship between a number of bio-markers, such as white blood count and homocysteine levels, and elevated hearing levels as measured by tonal audiometry in an aged population. They compared their results to a previous study. In both studies, they found a positive correlation with a number of biomarkers and concluded that both lifestyle and pharmacological treatment may provide prophylactic solutions to the development and progression of age-related hearing loss. This is an important paper for all audiologists because it clarifies that not all hearing loss is caused by intense noise, but that cochlear metabolism is one factor that should be considered in the treatment and prevention of hearing loss. The evolution of care provided by audiologists should be predicated on learning more about how metabolism affects hearing, balance, and tinnitus so that more effective prevention and treatment protocols may be developed. Similar studies might be improved if distortion product otoacoustic emissions were added to the research protocol as this may reveal cochlear hair cell inflammation prior to the development of permanent hearing loss. 

Inflammation is associated with a worsening of presbyacusis: Evidence from the MRC national study of hearing.
Verschurr V, Agyemang-Prempeh A, Newman TA.
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Richard Navarro

Grapevine, USA.

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