What is Presbycusis?
Also known as age-related hearing loss, presbycusis is defined as the gradual hearing loss that accompanies aging. Roughly 33% of adults over 65 have age-related hearing loss, and that number increases to 50% for people 85 and older.
Signs of presbycusis include:
- An inability to hear high-pitched sounds like the phone ringing
- Trouble hearing conversations in noisy environments
- Perceiving other’s speech as mumbled or slurred
- Difficulty hearing women and children’s voices
- Tinnitus in one or both ears
Despite the warning signs, you may not realize you’re struggling because your brain has learned to compensate for your hearing loss. Do you turn up the TV regularly? Are you speaking louder without realizing it? Do you ask others to speak up often or rely on a partner to help translate speech? Those are compensating behaviors that usually accompany presbycusis.
Diagnosing Age-Related Hearing Loss
Seeking treatment from an audiologist is your best bet at effectively managing age-related hearing loss. A doctor of audiology is trained to administer hearing evaluations to determine the cause of your hearing loss and which type hearing aid best suits your needs.
While the exact cause of age-related hearing loss is unknown, factors like genetics, medical history, long-term exposure to loud noise and ototoxic medications could contribute to your condition.
Your audiologist will conduct a visual exam with an otoscope to inspect the outer and inner ear for damage. They’ll also look for any blockages, excess earwax or infection that might be contributing to your hearing loss.
Why You May Need Different Hearing Aids
It’s important to be mindful that how your hearing loss will change even if you already wear hearing aids. While hearing devices make it easier for you to comprehend sounds, they can’t cure or slow the progression of your hearing loss.
That’s why it’s essential to schedule regular appointments with your audiologist. They will address the changes in your hearing and prescribe different hearing aids, if necessary.
Do you suspect you have age-related hearing loss? Are you ready to get started on your journey to better hearing? Contact Audio Help Hearing Centers online or call 888-832-9966 to schedule your appointment.