What is Presbycusis (Age Related) Hearing loss?

Age related hearing loss (Presbycusis) generally occurs to people over 50 years old, however deterioration in hearing can start when you’re as young as 18 years old. Men tend to be diagnosed with age related hearing loss more than women, and it may only become noticeable in later life therefore diagnosis can happen a long time after hearing loss begins. Diagnosis can range from mild to profound, this depends on the threshold of the hearing.

Presbycusis is one of the most common conditions affecting older and elderly adults.

Common symptoms relating to age related hearing loss include vertigo, tinnitus and sensitivity to certain volumes and frequencies.

Over time, high- pitched sounds such as children’s voices and alarms become more difficult to detect, and speech perception is affected. Age related hearing loss tends to occur in both ears, whereas noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) for example could affect one ear more than the other. Tinnitus is described as a ringing/ buzzing/ hissing sound in the ears which can be either constant or intermittent; persistent tinnitus affects around 6 million people in the UK.

Presbycusis is progressive and irreversible; it cannot be prevented or cured. Luckily hearing loss can be aided by either surgical or management treatment. For people with severe to profound hearing loss; a cochlear implant can be used to replace the cochlea of the inner ear. For elderly people with hearing loss, hearing aids are often fitted and tuned specifically. Aural rehabilitation is a management technique used to help communication, things like simply facing the affected person when talking can help with comprehension.

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