Aging effect on f2/f1 ratio function of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs)
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It is known that physiologic changes occur in the cochlea as part of the aging process. DPOAEs are sounds generated in the cochlea while two tones (f1 and f2) are present in the ear. This investigation examined the effects that the aging auditory system had on the absolute DPOAE amplitude and the f2/f1 ratio yielding the maximum DPOAE amplitude at four test frequencies (1500, 2000, 3000 and 4000Hz) in comparison to a group of young listeners. Fifteen young listeners (20-22 years) with normal hearing and fifteen old listeners (60-75 years) with normal hearing participated in this study. DPOAEs were recorded and DPOAE responses from young and old groups were compared. This study shows the possibility that the f2/f1 ratio function of DPOAEs reflects physiologic changes in the aged cochlea. Additional research is needed to support the aging effect on the f2/f1 ratio function with more stringent criteria of normal hearing.