When it comes to getting older, most, if not all, people are familiar with all the different signs that they’ll have to watch out for. Grey hair, wrinkles, and a less-than-optimally functioning memory are just some of the different signs of ageing that people try to fight as best as possible. However, while there is a wide array of symptoms of ageing, chances are that you haven’t been as aware of this particular sign: presbycusis.
Simply defined as “age-related hearing loss”, presbycusis is a condition that half of those over 75 years old inevitably deal with. It is a condition found in one of every two seniors. Although it may not seem like something that you’ll have to worry about now, age-related hearing loss can affect anybody because one-thirds of adults ages 65–70 have a certain degree of hearing loss.
While it may be a bit unsettling to learn about presbycusis, it’s a condition that can be handled with ease. But before we jump into taking on presbycusis any further, let’s look at the technical definition of the term to understand it better.
Medically speaking, presbycusis is a sensorineural hearing loss that comes about with age and in numerous forms with varying effects on people. Presbycusis occurs gradually over a few decades, and it affects both ears simultaneously, leading to a greater impact on hearing ability.
Presbycusis directly affects the tiny hair cells within an inner ear whose primary function is translating collected sound waves into electric signals that are perceived by the brain as a recognizable sound. Unfortunately, these hair cells do not regenerate or regrow, which means that presbycusis cannot be remedied through means of regeneration.
Causes of presbycusis
Aside from age, here are a few factors that can lead to being afflicted with presbycusis:
- Heart disease and other medical conditions that affect the blood supply to the middle of the ear
- Use of ototoxic medication
- Hearing-related side effects of certain types of medication, such as antibiotics and aspirin
- Prolonged exposure to excessive levels of noise at work or during leisure
- Genetic tendencies, such as your parents having hearing loss
Although age-related hearing loss cannot be spotted right away, it can still be recognized through several key symptoms. Additionally, presbycusis is a condition that can only be fully-diagnosed with the help of a hearing professional. Should you find yourself having a hard time hearing as you get older, then here are some symptoms to look out for when confirming whether you’ve been afflicted by the condition:
- You can hear people, but you can’t understand them because they seem like they’re slurring their speech or mumbling
- You have a hard time understanding conversations, especially when background noise is in the mix)
- You experience difficulty in hearing sounds that have higher pitches or frequencies
- You experience a type of tinnitus that won’t go away
- There are certain types of noise that seem to be annoying or overly loud
Can you fix it?
Unfortunately, presbycusis or age-related hearing loss cannot be cured in any way because it is classified as a permanent condition. However, the effects or symptoms of presbycusis can be remedied or managed through several methods, such as:
Presbycusis or age-related hearing loss is a condition that can be perceived as somewhat inevitable because it arises due to age. With the help of a hearing expert and proper treatment methods, however, the symptoms and difficulties presented by the condition can be managed effectively.
If you’re looking for a solution that can help you manage presbycusis or age-related hearing loss, get in touch with Fraser Valley Beltone. We provide extensive & free hearing tests in Langley, BC. Get in touch today to book your appointment.