Presbycusis: Say What?!

From the American Academy of Audiology

One in three people older than age 60 have hearing loss; one in two people older than age 85 have hearing loss.[1]

Hearing loss related to age is called presbycusis. It is a combination of changes to the

Presbycusis typically is a high-pitched hearing loss that can be noticed by subtle changes in hearing over time.

Common Signs of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss due to aging can be worsened by other factors such as diabetes, poor circulation, noise exposure, and certain medications.

Prevention

Although hearing loss with age is common, there are some steps you can take to prevent your hearing loss from getting worse. Daily considerations include avoiding loud sounds and using ear protection when exposed to loud sounds.

The “use it or lose it” principle applies to our ears. Unmanaged hearing loss can lead to deteriorated understanding of speech over time. Dealing with hearing loss early rather than later or putting it off is highly recommended.

People with unmanaged hearing loss often experience a decreased quality of life. Unmanaged hearing loss can lead to sadness, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and poor social relationships. Hearing loss can also lead to more fatigue because of your increased effort to understand speech.

Hearing loss is managed using technology and improving communication strategies. Your audiologist can help you determine if hearing aids, cochlear implants, or other assistive listening devices are appropriate for you.

Role of Audiologists

Audiologists identify, diagnose, and provide treatment options for patients with hearing loss and dizziness. They work closely with physicians, when necessary, and are an important part of the management team.

References

[1] National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders (NIDCD) ww.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing

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