Problems with the brain – not just the ears – cause a great deal of the age-related hearing loss in older people. Researchers are finding more and more subtle problems in the way our brain processes information as we age, so much so that an older person whose ears are in fine shape may have trouble hearing because of an aging brain.

In addition to earlier findings of a specific type of “timing” problem that limits our hearing as we age, the group is now finding increasing evidence of a “feedback” problem in the brain that diminishes our ability to hear.

University of Rochester Medical Center