What Is Presbycusis?
What Causes Presbycusis?Age related hearing loss is primarily the result of something we cannot control and that is aging. The inner ear hair cells are at most risk. These hair cells are tiny structures within the cochlea of the inner ear and play an important role in transferring incoming sound waves to the nerves responsible for hearing. Damage to these hair cells is most commonly due to the body’s natural ageing processes. Hearing loss can result due to the incapability of the body to grow new or replace compromised cells. Besides the nerve or cell damage, presbycusis can result from changes in the structure of the inner ear or insufficient and impaired blood flow to the ear. Sometimes, as we get older, certain aspects of our senses naturally deteriorate. There is not always a lot we can do, other than to manage it properly.
What are the symptoms of Age Related Hearing Loss?The severity of the symptoms may vary from one person to the next. As with any medical condition, one, or many symptoms may be present. You may notice the following situations:
- Sounds seem less clear
- high frequency hearing loss such as not hearing high-pitched alarms
- Difficulty in hearing people around you in noisy environments
- Background noise may appear too loud compared to the actual speech
- Not being able to hear the telephone or doorbell ringing when others can
- Other people may sound mumbled or slurred
- Inability to hear high-pitched sounds such as "s" and "th"
- Often having to ask people to repeat what they said
- A necessity to have the television or radio turned up much higher than other family members find comfortable
- Feeling tired after participating in a conversation held within background noise
Can I Prevent Age Related Hearing Loss?Although you can expect to experience a certain level of hearing loss as you age, you can attempt to successfully delay the process by avoiding several unhealthy habits:
- Listening to loud music with headphones or earbuds – it is important to avoid continuous exposure to loud noises.
- Intake of medications that might contribute to hearing loss.
- An unhealthy diet that can lead to diabetes, excessive weight, high blood pressure and heart problems.
- An inactive lifestyle
Free Online Hearing Test
There are several steps that can help you determine whether you are suffering from any type of hearing loss not just a high frequency hearing loss. First, it is advisable to watch out for any of the above-mentioned symptoms, especially if they occur regularly. If in doubt, you can first check your hearing with the help of our free online hearing test.
These quick and painless tests will measure your responses to sounds of varying tones and help provide an approximate indication of any present hearing loss. Of course, for a really accurate and detailed check, it is highly advisable to visit your audiologist, as soon as you begin to experience any difficulties hearing.
How To Properly Manage PresbycusisSome aspects of hearing loss are medically treatable (e.g. hearing loss due to wax blockage in the ear canal) and can be fully cured, in cases where the right measures are taken in time.
What are the Dangers of Unmanaged Age Related Hearing loss?The main problem with age related hearing loss is that it usually progresses quite slowly over time and the opportunity to take control of the condition while still in its mild form is often missed. If the problem is ignored and its severity increases, it can seriously affect the sufferer’s social life and communication with others and lead to unpleasant situations not only for them but family and friends as well. Such troubles can create other serious conditions such as depression and loss of self-confidence, as well as constant feelings of anxiety, frustration, and inadequacy. There have been studies linking hearing loss to dementia showing the importance of early diagnosis.
About Hearing DirectWe are one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists. HearingDirect offers a wide range of affordable products, and information resources to help improve the quality of life for the hard of hearing. We sell:
- Hearing aids,
- Accessories such as earplugs,
- and amplified devices such as super loud alarm clocks and amplified phones.
Author: Joan McKechnie
After qualifying as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Audiologist Joan has spent most of her 20 year career in hearing-care related roles. She has a wealth of experience within the hearing aid and hearing rehabilitation fields and has worked in manufacturing environments with two hearing aid companies helping to develop products and roll out new technologies. Joan has been involved with Hearing Direct since its launch and enjoys the online retail environment which seeks to provide easier access to hearing products and accessories. She is HCPC registered. Read Joan's full bio here.